The Socotra Island “the most alien-looking place on Earth.”

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The Socotra Island “the most alien-looking place on Earth.”

The landscape of remote Socotra Island looks as if it comes from a sci-fi film but in fact has evolved to look so other-worldy as the 'lost world' island has been separated from mainland Africa for between six and seven million years.

Much like the Galapagos Islands, which are known for their incredible array of wildlife, Socotra Island is home to around 800 rare species of flora and fauna, around a third of which are found nowhere else on the planet.

Nestled in the Indian Ocean some 250km away from Somalia and 340km from Yemen, the island's harsh environment includes wide sandy beaches, limestone caves and towering mountains, but is for the most part very hot and dry leading to the distinctive appearance of its plants.

The landscape of remote Socotra Island looks as if it comes from a sci-fi film but in fact has evolved to look so other-worldy as the 'lost world' island has been separated from mainland Africa for between six and seven million years. 

Much like the Galapagos Islands, which are known for their incredible array of wildlife, Socotra Island is home to around 800 rare species of flora and fauna, around a third of which are found nowhere else on the planet

The trees and plants on the island have evolved to suit its hostile climate and some varieties of plant are a staggering 20 million-years old, according to Bin's Corner.

Only Hawaii, New Caledonia and the Galapagos Islands have more endemic species after botanical field surveys led by Centre for Middle Eastern Plants, which is part of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, found that 307 of the 825 plan species could only be found on the island and nowhere else on Earth.