|The Island Of Socotra In Yemen|
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 October 2009 )|
The name of the island is believed to come from Sanskrit ‘dvipa sakhadara’, which can be translated with ‘Island of Bliss’.
Socotra is one of the most isolated landforms on Earth of continental origin.
The archipelago was once part of the supercontinent of Gondwana and detached
during the Middle Pliocene (ca 6 million years ago), in the same set of rifting
events that opened the Gulf of Aden to its northwest.
The main island has three geographical terrains: the narrow coastal plains, a
limestone plateau permeated with karstic caves, and the Haghier Mountains. The
mountains rise to 5,000 feet (1,525 m). The island is a little over 80 miles
(130 km) long east to west and typically 18-22 miles (30-35 km) north to south.
Socotra is considered the “jewel” of biodiversity in the Arabian sea. The long geological isolation of the Socotra archipelago and its fierce heat and drought have combined to create a unique and spectacular endemic flora. Surveys have revealed that more than a third of the 800 or so plant species of Socotra are found nowhere else. Botanists rank the flora of Socotra among the ten most endangered island flora in the world. The archipelago is a site of global importance for biodiversity conservation and a possible center for ecotourism.
One of the most striking of Socotra’s plants is the dragon’s blood tree, which
is a strange-looking, umbrella-shaped tree. Its red sap was the dragon’s blood
of the ancients, sought after as a medicine and a dye. Another unusual plant is
The island was recognised by the UNESCO as a world natural heritage site in July 2008. The European Union has supported such a move, calling on both UNESCO and International Organization of Protecting Environment to classify the island archipelago among the environmental heritages.
|< Prev||Next >|