Wonder Island

To get to a fairy tale, it is enough to plunge into the wonderful world of Socotra.The island of Socotra (Socotra) in the Indian Ocean - a treasure trove of unique flora and fauna.

Socotra Archipelago (Yemen), without a doubt, is the strangest place on our planet.Any idea of ​​a "normal" for the Earth's landscape are fading for a split second.If once early in the morning you would not wake up in his bed, and in the vast Socotra, you would never have believed that you are in the world - is so unusual, unearthly, "alien" is a mysterious landscape of the archipelago.

fact that last 6 - 7 million years Socotra archipelago has been isolated from mainland Africa, which could not but affect the development of its flora and fauna.Suffice it to mention that all terrestrial mollusks, one-third of the plants and about 90% of reptiles - are endemic, ie found only on these islands.Nowhere else in the world you will not find anything like it.

Socotra archipelago lies 380 km.from Cape Fartak on Yemenite coast of the Arabian Sea and consists of islands of Socotra, Darcy Samha and Abd al Kuri.Socotra - the largest of all the islands (3625 square kilometers).

Natives call their island Sakatri and the mystery of origin of the name of the island - "Socotra" has not yet been solved.Although there is a version that the word dates back to the drevnesanskritskomu expression "Abode of grace."There is something to think about ...

Because of its unique nature, preserved from prehistoric times, Socotra attracts not only scientists and experts, but also active recreation and eco-tourism.

landscape of the island is most similar to the scenery to films about extraterrestrial civilizations.Unprepared viewer's hard to believe that such beauty could exist in our world.

first saw photos from the island of Socotra, you might think that this photo-realistic computer graphics.Of course, it is difficult to believe that the world can grow mushroom-shaped trees ... It's not like people.

One of the main symbols of the island is the dragon tree It is a tree from the family of dracaena (Dracaena cinnabari) the locals call "The blood of the dragon."

Branches of trees are revealed to the sky.From above, they look like flying saucers hovering, and the bottom on the giant mushrooms.

on the damaged parts of the cortex of this wonderful wood advocates resin which has a number of medicinal properties.The resin has a bright red color, and in ancient times it was associated with the blood of dragons.In ancient times, the resin of these trees people were doing drugs, and now the dragon tree resin - the strongest immune stimulant and antiseptic ... It is for this comparison is the tree and got its name - "dragon tree"

Climate islands is quite hard;however, dry and hot air combined with astonishing beauty of the flora

most amazing plants on earth safely grow here.

Walking on Socotra, you can come across unusual plants under the "Desert Rose" (adenium obesium).Despite the name, a rose is a plant does not like and looks like a blooming leg adult elephant!

Bizarrely twisted trunk of the tree serves as a reservoir for storing water consumed in the dry season.At a height of 3.5 meters, he often reaches a diameter of 2 m.

The flowering period of its thick branches, stumps suddenly covered with delicate bright red flowers.Because of the ability for such a miraculous transformation of the British call Adenium "desert rose".

The island has a lot of plants, affecting their curious appearance."The lower slopes are covered with zhabopodobnymi dendrosicyos.Their gray trunks, swollen from the milky juice are like elephant feet and topped by a rare fringe of hard wrinkled leaves.

Despite the lack of resemblance with vegetables, botanists include dendrosicyos family Cucurbitaceae.By the way - this is the only tree in the family.Fruits dendrosicyos indeed resemble familiar to us cucumbers - only thorns.

These trees bloom with small yellow flowers and bring a little useless results - "perhaps I should call them pickles" - described the famous botanist Douglas Botting their impressions of familiarity with dendrositsiosom sokotranskim - the only tree in a large gourd family, all the other members of which -lianoobraznye herbaceous plants.

On the archipelago there are about 200 different species of birds (Bunting, Starling, solar bird tsistikola, etc.), 6 of which are found nowhere else in the world.

Local vultures - "chicken" with bright yellow feathers on the head and the habits of domestic birds.The largest population of the Middle East is on Socotra.

in the waters washing the islands 253 species of coral, 300 species of crabs and 700 species of fish.The biggest inhabitants of local waters is whales, bottlenose dolphins, rays, whale sharks and sperm whales.

the island is inhabited by a lot of reptiles (geckos and several species of non-poisonous snakes) and mammals, of which the indigenous inhabitants are the only bats and shrews, as goats, sheep, camels and cows were brought to the people.

Socotra many caves stretching for tens of kilometers, inhabited by stalagmites and stalactites.

The island is home to about 40,000 inhabitants, but in spite of this inhabited island has kept almost original appearance - many Socotrans still live without electricity or running water.They greet each other Socotrans noses - because they have taken.

Since ancient times, here is flourishing pearl hunting: Socotrans - excellent freedivers.However, and trade.

UNESCO declared the island of Socotra World Heritage area, so any new construction is discussed previously.The island's population - Socotrans - not less unique, as are the descendants of mixed marriages of Indians, the Greeks, the Portuguese, Arabs, Ethiopians, and even a dozen other nationalities who frequented the island at different times.It is believed that the first people on the island were a South Arabian tribes who came to Socotra somewhere in the 1st millennium BC

seasons of bad weather and the lack of regular transport link until recently led to the isolation of the inhabitants of the island of Socotra, as well as their biological neighbors - flora and fauna.Therefore, the local indigenous people hardly felt the influence of the outside world.

Socotrans speak a unique language drevnesemitskom preliterate Socotra, no less ancient and interesting to researchers than the Akkadian or classical Arabic.Do not have a notion of safety and comfort that modern man takes for granted Socotrans have developed a deep understanding and respect for the land and the sea, it was necessary for the survival of the people.

Socotra is considered the most intact of the inhabited islands with arid climate.This is another mystery, the answer to the biologists who are looking for along with ethnographers, drawing his research experience and knowledge sokotrantsev observations about the nature of the island.

It turned out that the indigenous people of the archipelago, which even today because of the storm winds almost six months cut off from the outside world, have long recognized that their lives and livelihoods depend entirely on the preservation of the natural environment.

Therefore, over the centuries there has been forbidden to cut living trees and bushes, grazed cattle, regular change of pasture to avoid depletion.The observance of these rules and restrictions, many of which are reflected in the beliefs and folklore of the islanders strictly followed tribal elders.

So if you dream about the rest in this corner of the world where human impact on the environment was minimal, the island of Socotra - the perfect place.

Articles Source: geo_club