Nature

Socotra Bottle Tree

Socotra Bottle Tree
Found nowhere else, Socotra Bottle Tree

Socotra Bottle Tree
A mysterious world, the island of myths and legends – Socotra. Its ancient name from Sanskrit means “the land of bliss.” Unique for its flora and fauna island is 250 km from Africa and 350 km from the Arabian Peninsula. Noteworthy, most species of plants and animals are endemic, found no where else on Earth. Besides, it is the only place on Earth where there are unique bottle trees.
Socotra – the most isolated landform on Earth of continental origin. The archipelago was once part of the super-continent 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.


Socotra Bottle Tree
Unique Socotra Bottle Tree

The archipelago consists of the main island of Socotra. In particular, the three smaller islands of Abd al Kuri, Samhah, and Darsa, and small rock outcrops like Ka’l Fir’awn and Sabuniyah – uninhabitable by humans but important for birds.

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.

The climate is generally tropical desert, with rainfall being light, seasonal (winter) and more abundant at the higher ground in the interior than along the coastal lowlands. The monsoon season brings strong winds and high seas.

Meanwhile, 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 eco tourism.

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 Dorstenia gigas.

Socotra Bottle Tree

Amazing Bottle Tree
Amazing Tree

As with many isolated island systems, bats are the only mammals native to Socotra. In contrast, the marine biodiversity around Socotra is rich, characterized by a unique mixture of species that have originated in far flung bio-geographic regions: the western Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, Arabia, East Africa and the wider Ind-Pacific.

Noteworthy, the UNESCO recognized the island as a world natural heritage site in July 2008. In addition, 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.

Landscape with Bottle Trees
Landscape with Trees

According to belief, some of the plants and animals found on Socotra are in fact, ancient relics of a much larger land mass which has all but disappeared. The preserved here relic is a result of the fact that the Haghir Massif has not been totally submerged for at least 135 Million years. The absence on any indigenous mammals is reported to be further indication of the island’s very ancient origins, possibly from time before mammals appeared on earth!

Landscape with Bottle Trees
Extraordinary look
Mysterious world of the Socotra island
Mysterious world
Animal world of the Socotra island
Animal world
Local people of Socotra island
Local people
A bird of Socotra island
A bird of Socotra island
A lizard on a rock
A lizard on a rock
Seashells of the Socotra island
Seashells
Typical landscape of the Socotra island
Typical landscape
Sandy beach of the Socotra island
Sandy beach
Washed by waters Socotra island
Washed by waters island
Beach of Socotra island
The Beach
Beach of Socotra island
Sunset over the beach
Wonderful bottle trees of Socotra island
Wonderful trees
Wonderful bottle trees of Socotra island
Exotic trees
Camels on Socotra island
Camels on the island
Hills and Bottle trees of the Socotra island
Hills with the trees
Unique Socotra island
Tropical desert
the most isolated landform on Earth
The most isolated landform on Earth, Socotra island
recognized by the UNESCO as a world natural heritage site
Recognized by the UNESCO as a world natural heritage site
Strange-looking bottle trees
Strange-looking trees
Strange-looking bottle trees
Looking strange, bottle trees
Flora of Socotra island
Flora of the island
Flora of Socotra island
Red sunset
umbrella-shaped tree
Umbrella-shaped tree, known as dragon’s blood tree
dragon’s blood tree
dragon’s blood tree

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