Socotra – The Most Alien-Looking Place on Earth

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A REMOTE island known as Socotra has been coined the ‘lost world’ because of its alien-like environment and rare wildlife.The island is said to be one of the most remote places on earth and is located in the Indian Ocean 340km from the coast of Yemen.

image credit: speakzeasy

Socotra wasn’t formed by volcanic activity–rather, it was once a part of the African mainland, having become isolated over millions of years. As a result, the organisms that call Socotra ‘home’ have evolved with very unique forms, found nowhere else on the planet.

image credit: wikipedia

It just might be the most alien-looking place on Earth.It‘s home to around 800 rare species of vegetation and over 140 different species of bird, many of which are native just to Socotra.

image credit: splory

The island is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in order to maintain plants that have grown there for up to 20 million years.

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Experts believe that the trees and plants are so distinctive because they’ve had to evolve to survive in such a hostile setting.The dry sandy beaches, crumbling limestone caves and steep mountains don’t provide easy growing conditions for flora and fauna.

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The remote island of Socotra, whose name is thought to come from the Sanskrit for ‘blissful island’, is home to nearly 50,000 inhabitants, most of whom speak the unique Soqotri language, spoken only in Socotra.(ancient-origins)

The indigenous inhabitants are mainly of Southern Arabian descent and there are also a number of residents of Somali and Indian origin. Several of the female lineages on the island are found nowhere else on earth.