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Earthly Paradise in the Middle of the Indian Ocean: How the Island of Socotra looks like a scenery for a fairy tale
Earthly Paradise in the Middle of the Indian Ocean: How the Island of Socotra looks like a scenery for a fairy tale

Socotra is a Yemeni-owned island located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia. It is one of the most isolated islands of continental (non-volcanic) origin. Many millions of years ago, it broke away from the mainland, and this event preserved the unique nature of the island. Its flora and fauna turned out to be, as it were, "conserved" from any external influence. The island does not look like a fragment of the earth's land, but like a fragment of another planet. Everything seen there often does not resemble the usual terrestrial landscapes at all. This is some kind of Jurassic Park.

Unique island

Development on the island went its own way

Life on this island has developed in its own special way. Over time, it has evolved into something completely unique and amazing. Climate features: wild heat, drought, seasonal hurricane monsoons all summer, and warm and humid in winter. All this, together with the special climatic conditions in the mountainous regions, helped to form, as a result, an absolutely unique flora and fauna of the island. It is not for nothing that Socotra Island is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. These kilometer-long dunes on the shores of the azure Indian Ocean, puffer and bottle trees blooming like sakura - it looks like a fairy tale come to life.

Socotra's symbol is the Dragon Tree

Socotra symbol

Socotra's symbol is Dracaena cinnabari (Dragon tree). This tree looks like a huge umbrella or a giant mushroom. If you cut off the bark from it, then a blood-red juice will begin to flow, which solidifies very quickly. Since ancient times, local residents have used this magical remedy for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Aboriginal people say that dracaena cinnabari juice can stop any bleeding. It helps a lot with painful and prolonged periods in women.

These blossoming trees make the island look like a fairy tale

Local animals are very fond of eating young shoots of these plants. Therefore, it is incredibly difficult to meet the young growth of the famous dragon tree. Most often these are already mature trees several hundred years old. This plant is not only a symbol, but also the main attraction and hallmark of this unusual island. It is the dragon tree that gives the landscape of the mountainous landscape a certain poetry and fabulousness. Everyone who has visited the island would certainly like to capture themselves against this magical alien background.

Dragon trees give the landscape a kind of alienation Combined with white beaches stretching into the horizon, it's just magic


It is difficult to recall even one case when human intervention would benefit nature, and not vice versa. The property of intelligent bipeds is to spoil absolutely everything they touch. Socotra is fortunate that human influence is minimal here. Looking at this unearthly beauty, one can only rejoice that such a phenomenon as mass tourism does not threaten it. Otherwise it would have killed the beautiful island.

Mass tourism can kill the beautiful nature of the island

The main threats to Socotra's unique nature are alien species, climate change and anthropogenic impact. In addition to the latter, when goats eat young shoots of bottle trees and dragon trees, which harms the endemic of Socotra, the rest can be influenced.

Goats love to nibble on the young shoots of these beautiful trees

Human intervention was stopped here on time. Now the wonderful place is a nature reserve under the special control of the authorities. Being here, it is difficult to resist the temptation to photograph each bush.

Here I want to shoot every bush, everything is so magically beautiful

Life on Socotra

The island is home to about forty thousand people. Local residents have their own language. Despite the fact that the aborigines do not have a written language, local folklore is incredibly rich in poetry and prose. Socotrian belongs to the Semitic group of languages. Unfortunately, the language of the islanders is gradually dying out, giving way to Arabic.

The sunsets are especially good here

You can see unusual drawings on the rocks of the island. What kind of drawings they are, what they mean and where they came from - no one knows. No research has been conducted on this matter. The most interesting thing is that they can be viewed only when part of the water evaporates and they become open to the eye.

The island has a rich, unexplored history

Tourists should keep in mind that there are practically no hotels on Socotra. In those that are available, someone is unlikely to want to stop. Travelers take tents with them. You can get into this fairy tale only by plane through the capital of Yemen, Sana'a. The trip must be made through a local travel agency. This does not interfere at all, but even helps a lot. After all, they will take you directly to all the most iconic places, and there you can already explore the area as you please.

Peace and serenity of the landscape in Socotra

There are stunningly beautiful mountains here. White dunes frame an endless azure horizon. Mysterious caves can give a tired traveler romance and coolness. And what are the stars! I am immediately drawn to talk about the incomprehensibility of the Universe and the power of the Creator. Socotra's story may not bring exploratory ecstasy, but incredible amounts of indescribable emotions are a must. This is a fairy tale revived or a lost paradise, whichever you prefer.

The world is beautiful and amazing, read our other article on 15 mystical and alluring places in India that are worth seeing at least once, even for the uninitiated.

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