Socotra Island is part of an archipelago in the Indian Ocean. It is so isolated that a third of its plant life is found nowhere else on the planet. Today, 70% of the island is protected as a National park. The most striking endemic species of Socotra Island is the Dragon’s blood tree, which can withstand the arid climate in this ecoregion by collecting water on its umbrella-shaped dense crowns.
The most striking endemic species of Socotra Island is the Dragon’s blood tree
In 2010 a Russian archaeological team discovered the ruins of a city on Socotra dating to the second century. The island is also held by some to be the location of the original Garden of Eden, due to its isolation, biological diversity, and the fact that it is located on the edge of Yemen’s Gulf of Aden, which many connect with the ancient Sumerian tales of a paradise called Dilmun.
Another surreal plant found only on Socotra is the “Desert Rose” or Bottle Tree, so-called because of its massive trunk that has adapted to store water during dry spells.
There are only two paved roads in Socotra
There are two paved roads in Socotra; the rest are dirt. It has been determined that a major source of pollution on the island is air contaminants from road paving, so the construction of roads has been very limited. Other problems facing Socotra’s special environment are overgrazing, the introduction of outside species, exploitation of resources, and even poaching or smuggling of plants and animals.