Those who have visited Galapagos Islands know what an amazing place it is. Some even call it “heaven on earth”. If you haven’t visited the breathtaking Galapagos yet, then you should know that a trip to Galapagos Islands will be the journey of your lifetime.
The main reason for tourists and nature lovers to visit the Galapagos Islands is the multitude of animals freely enjoying themselves, as well as the Island’s interesting volcanic geology, and its rich flora and fauna. Visiting the Galapagos Islands will surely affect you deeply and impress you like no other place you have seen.
Here are some of the most amazing facts you should know about Galapagos Islands:
- The Galapagos archipelago is probably one of the most bio-diverse places on earth.
- Galapagos is Spanish for turtle.
- The main language spoken in the Galapagos Islands is Spanish.
- Set 1000 kilometres off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are made up of 13 major islands, 6 minor islands and 40 islets in the Pacific Ocean that are the result of numerous volcanic eruptions.
- The Galapagos Islands are home to 25,000 human inhabitants, who live in small communities that can be spotted across the islands.
- The Galapagos Islands were home to the sole remaining Giant Pinta tortoise in the world (up until 2012) that was known affectionately as Lonesome George until his passing. While his actual age was never certain, he was estimated to be between 90-100 years old.
- Charles Darwin has actually used the Galapagos as his main source to construct his evolution theory. So, the Galapagos Islands became the major source of research and inspiration for his paper The Origin of the Species and the theory of evolution.
- The Galapagos Islands are home to anomalies – like the Galapagos Penguin, the only of its kind to be found in the Northern Hemisphere; the Galapagos Marine Iguana, the only lizard in the world with the ability to swim; and the only non-flying cormorants in the world. Additionally, the Galapagos are home to world’s only colony of red-footed booby and the carnivorous 30cm long centipede.
- The name “booby” comes from the Spanish word bobo, which means “clown” or “fool”.
- An island in the Galapagos is called Nameless Island and it is used mostly for scuba diving.
- The oldest island in the Galapagos – Espanola – is estimated to be 3.5 million years old, and the youngest – Fernandina – is 1 million years old and still in the process of forming.
- The Galapagos had its first post office in Floreana Island – a barrel where those who passed through the bay could leave mail or take any they could deliver.
- Isabela was formed by six volcanoes. Five are still active. In 1998 volcanic activity on Isabela caused rescuers to move several rare and giant sea turtles out of the flow of lava.
- Thanks to its location on the Equator, the beautiful Galapagos Islands have an equal 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night throughout the year – something that’s really fascinating for tourists.
- `San Cristobal (Puerto Baquerizo) is the capital city.
- The temperature highs are mostly in the 80s with lows in the 70s.
- Ecuador has made the islands a state park.
- The Galapagos Islands are visited by more than 50,000 people every year.
- Other names for the islands include ‘Islas de Colon’ and ‘Islas Galapagos’.
- Galapagos penguins are the smallest of their kind in the world.
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If you have already visited Galapagos Islands, please share your experience with us in the comments section below.