Fancy heading somewhere warm, sunny and breath-taking to behold? Few places in the world have the edge over the Galapagos Islands. This stunning selection of Pacific islands are home to some of the richest collections of wildlife you’ll find. But what else makes the Galapagos so special?
Let’s dive in and take a look at these 15 interesting facts about the Galapagos Islands.
- The Galápagos Islands are an equatorial archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean 1,000km off the coast of Ecuador.
- There are still active volcanoes on the Galapagos Islands. The most recent eruption in the islands took place in 2018. The Sierra Negra volcano was the latest to erupt, though thankfully, little damage has been done to local wildlife habitats.
- The islands are also known as Archipielago de Colon, as well as the ‘Enchanted Islands’.
- They earned this name as a result of the look they gave during heavy mist and fog when spotted by Tomas de Berlanga. Once the Archbishop of Panama, de Berlanga commented that the island seemed ‘enchanted’, and that they disappeared once you got far enough away.
- The Galapagos Islands are classed as a National Park and a UNESCO world heritage site.
- There are hundreds of tiny locations across the Galapagos Islands. However, it consists of 13 major islands, with a handful of smaller sites.
- The islands are keenly positioned on either side of the equator – making for some of the hottest holidaying on the planet!
- The islands are ancient. The youngest, in fact, is around a million years old! The oldest island, Espanola, is around four millions years of age. It’s so old that it’s seen significant continental drift.
- The Galapagos Islands were instrumental in helping Charles Darwin write and publish his important book, The Origin of Species. In the tome, Darwin refers to Galapagos as ‘a little world within itself’.
- Darwin’s’ writings have been important in helping to preserve the island for generations to come. In fact, many people refer to the Galapagos Islands as a living museum. Anyone interested in evolution will surely want to take a look at the vast flora and fauna that reside here!
- The Galapagos Islands are a hotbed for unique and vibrant wildlife. Among them, believe it or not, are tropical penguins!
- There are more than 400 different species of fish swimming around the islands, too. Around 50 of them are unique to the area!
- Some of the most famous animals on the islands are the Galapagos tortoises. They are true giants! They are thought to weigh in the region of 250-250kg, and live longer than any other animal on the planet. Some tortoises live to be well over 150 years old!
- Believe it or not, the Galapagos Islands only have two seasons. One is dry, and runs from June through December, and the other is wet, running from December through May.
- The Galapagos Islands were once ideal spots for pirates and buccaneers to hide out and – of course – bury treasure! Yes – no matter how many pirate stories you’ve read, the buried treasure legends are true!
Do you know any interesting facts about the Galapagos Islands that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments section below!