Soqotra: the Alien Island

Soqotra is the most "alien-looking" island on Earth, having over 700 species found nowher...

Soqotra is the most "alien-looking" island on Earth, having over 700 species found nowhere else on the planet.

The name Soqotra (Socotra) is derived from a Sanscrit name, meaning "The Island of Bliss". The climate is harsh, hot and dry, and yet - the most amazing plant life thrives there. 

Situated in the Indian Ocean 250 km from Somalia and 340 km from Yemen, the wide sandy beaches rise to limestone plateaus full of caves (some 7 kilometers in length) and mountains up to 1525 meters high.

This island is teeming with 700 extremely rare species of flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth. The trees and plants of this island were preserved through the long geological isolation, some varieties being 20 million years old. 




Human life on Soqotra

The inhabitants are of Arab, Somali, and South Asian origins. They follow the Islamic faith and speak Soqotri, a Semitic language. 

Their primary occupations have been fishing, animal husbandry, and the cultivation of dates. Almost all inhabitants of Socotra, numbering nearly 50,000, live on the homonymous main island of the archipelago.


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  1. Oh wow! Love those trees. Thanks Alexander - you find most intersting posts!

  2. Thank you dear Helen,
    More to come. :-)

  3. Very neat. It just shows Mother Nature at work, undisturbed. All places on Earth would have looked with a touch of miracle blending in them if it wasn't for us, humans, to alter and stress it. I'm grateful that lately more and more people dare to care. Because of people like you, Alexander.

  4. Um, original poster should do some editing because its spelled Socotra, Yemen not Soqotra

  5. Thank you for being interested and trying to help. I appreciate, but the name is also spelled Soqotra:

    "Socotra (Arabic: سُقُطْرَى‎ Suquṭra), also spelt Soqotra, is a small archipelago of four islands in the Indian Ocean."


  6. they resemble plant in the voynich manuscript IMO, maybe something there?

  7. brilliant post, thank you so much for all your inspiring posts and hard work :-)

  8. Brilliant post, really inspiring :-)


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