From the New York Times in the USA:
… Until that moment I’d had no clear idea what exactly frankincense was; nor that it derives from the sap of a tree; nor that, as Ahmed explained, Socotra is home to nine species of the tree, all unique to the island. …
Some 250 million years or more ago, when all the planet’s major landmasses were joined and most major life-forms were just a gleam in some evolutionary eye, Socotra already stood as an island apart.
According to Wikipedia, Socotra detached ca 6 million years ago.
Ever since, it has been gathering birds, seeds and insects off the winds and cultivating one of the world’s most unusual collections of organisms.
In addition to frankincense, Socotra is home to myrrh trees and several rare birds.
Its marine life is a unique hybrid of species from the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific.
In the 1990s, a team of United Nations biologists conducted a survey of the archipelago’s flora and fauna.
Encouraged by a United Nations development plan, Socotra has opted to avoid mass tourism: no beachfront resorts; instead, small, locally owned hotels and beachfront campsites.
The prize is that rarest of tourists, eco-tourists: those who know the little known and reach the hard to reach, who will come eager to see the Socotra warbler, the loggerhead turtle, the dragon’s blood tree — anything, please, but their own reflection.
- Socotra Island, Yemen (vivalavisa1.wordpress.com)
- TRAVEL: The Mystique of the Socotra Islands (sierraclub.typepad.com)
- Invasive Rats to be Exterminated in Galapagos Islands (hispanicallyspeakingnews.com)