Socotra, a tiny island off the coast of Yemen, is nestled amid the azure seas of the Indian Ocean. The secluded habitat, which is 220 miles from the mainland, is home to numerous unique flora and fauna—in fact, 30% of its plant life doesn’t thrive anyplace else. It has gained the moniker “the most alien-looking spot on Earth” as a result of this.
Socotra is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site with three distinct landscapes: coastal lowlands, a limestone plateau with caves, and the Haghier Mountains. With only 83 miles of length and 28 miles of north-to-south distance, there’s a lot of variation in a tiny area. Rainfall is scarce, which explains the presence of unusual plants like the dragon’s blood tree, which has a crimson sap and an umbrella-shaped top, as well as enormous succulent and cucumber trees.
Socotra is home to indigenous animals in addition to its diverse vegetation. Several bird species are uniquely present on the island, and over 90% of the reptiles, including legless lizards, are unique to this location. Socotra’s only natural animals are bats, yet feral cats from other parts of the world have made their way there.
While it is possible to visit Socotra, it is best suited to people who don’t mind roughing it. Infrastructure is limited, with little public transit; instead, they provide eco-friendly biking and motorbike trips that allow you to travel around this fascinating area.
All images sourced from Imgur.