Stunning and Striking – The Island of Bliss

Many marvellous places around the world can astound you. Some of them are architectural marvels that have designed with meticulous care and a lot of vivid imagination. Then there are some natural wonders scattered across the globe. One of the most fascinating places bursting with natural bounties is Socotra. If you woke up here some day and were, unable to recall how you got there in the first place then you’d think either that you’re still dreaming or that you’ve managed to transport yourself back in time to the prehistoric days.

Also known as Soqotra or Suqutra, this place is a part of Yemen and is located 220 miles off the coast of Africa. It is located in the Indian Ocean and is a group of four islands. Its existing beauty can attributed to the fact that this island is very isolated from the rest of the world and until 2002, was one of the most inaccessible places. Geographically, it continues to be isolated even today.

The photos of this place look like they have cut right out of some fantasy movie and altered with high-effects. It truly feels like this place is out of this world. It houses a myriad of flora and fauna that are extraordinary to say the least. About a third of its vegetation could not found anywhere else in the world. One can only imagine how rich the biodiversity of this place must be.

One of the strangest looking trees that founded here called Dracaena Cinnabari or more commonly, the Dragon’s Blood Tree. A weird umbrella shaped tree looks more like an overgrown mushroom with a green cap on top. The only mammals which are native to this island are bats. It is however home to several birds and aquatic animals. Another strange looking plant is the Desert Rose, also known as the Elephant’s Leg Tree. These plants have thick bottoms and trunks and thin branches with red and pink colored roses at their tips and grow right on top of rocks where there is hardly any soil. The Cucumber Tree and the Socotra Fig are other trees that founded on the island. Besides these trees, one can find over 20 different spiders and a couple of birds that are exclusive to Socotra. The climate of this region is mainly harsh, hot and dry and is one of the reasons why such diverse and unique plant and animal life has managed to sustain it here.

This place seems like a well-guarded secret that has remained hidden for long and thus unexploited. The name Socotra literally means ‘The Island of Happiness’ or ‘The Island of Bliss’. It entered UNESCO’s World Heritage Site List in 2008 and since then eco-tourism in the region has kicked off. There are however no sturdy roads or any hotels for the tourists to stay in. So if you enjoy hiking and exploring the wild this might just be the place for you. However, of course, if what you are looking for is an out-of-the-world destination then here is one, right on Earth.

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