Socotra Island, Yemen

Isolated from continental land masses for 18 million years, Yemen's Socotra Island showcases an alien-like landscape with unusual plants and animals, such as the blood dragon tree, pictured, and desert rose. Its high degree of biodiversity has earned it the name the "Galapagos of the Indian Ocean."Socotra is the largest of four islands of the Socotra Archipelago. Its long geographic isolation has given rise to an abundance of flora and fauna found only on the island. Of Socotra's 825 plant species, 37% are endemic. Ninety percent of its reptile and 95% of its land snail species are also unique to the island. Not surprisingly, Socotra is increasingly popular with eco-tourists. More photos...

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