Facts about Socotra

bottle trees in Adhooa villageSocotra was recognized by the United Nations (UNESCO) as a world natural heritage site in July 2008, calling on both UNESCO and International  Organization of Protecting Environment to classify the island archipelago among the environmental heritages.

The archipelago of Socotra consists of Socotra island and the small islands of Darsa, Samha and Abd al-Kuri. These three islands of Socotra archipelago are situated to the west of the Socotra.

From a botanical point of view, Soqotra is historically known for the rare and spectacular plants which characterize the dramatic mountain and coastal landscapes. According to  botanists, the island of Socotra ranks among the ten endangered islands in the world. The island has a very rich and diverse flora while as much as 900 plant species could be found  there. Among those species, 600  kinds are rare and at least 300 are endemic while many plant species of the island  remained to be studied and yet new species keep being discovered . Around 150 plant species are uniquely owned by the island where no equivalents are available  all over the world. The animal world is characterized by the original absence (man introduced some species later) of mammals (exception made for bats), amphibians, and perhaps primary freshwater fish. Animal groups that managed to survive on the islands stand out by the presence of numerous endemics, including birds.; many groups remain to be discovered, especially in the marine fauna.

Socotra is also known for its resins. In Ancient Rome gladiators smeared their bodies with the resin extracted from Dragon Trees. It hastened healing of their wounds by reducing blood loss. It is considered that Dragon’s blood has greater healing properties than well-known Mumiyo. Except the resin you can also buy here dried juice of the Socotran Aloe, frankincense and clay smoking jars. Try to find a blood-red clot of resin on the bark of a tree, climb its crown or just lay half an hour in its shade and enjoy the thought that you see an endemic that may be more than one thousand years old!

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