If you are looking to travel to one of the most mesmerizing places on earth, look no further than the Galapagos Islands. There is so much to see on these enchanting islands that you might feel the need to extend your stay for a few more days. From playful sea lions to fearless birds and iguanas – awe inspiring sights will take your breath away. On each island, you’ll find new habitats and diverse welcoming environments. The best thing about these islands is that they will never stop astounding you. If you love nature and adventure, you’ll have the best time of your life in Galapagos.
Here are few amazing facts about Galapagos Islands:
1. Fascinating Marine Life
There is no denying that the marine life on Galapagos is truly remarkable. What’s truly amazing is that about 15% of all the species of reef fish that live here can’t be found anywhere else in the world! Galapagos is also home to the largest biomass of sharks in the planet, meaning that all species of sharks have found an incredibly healthy environment on which to grow and thrive. For some people, it may sound unbelievable, but it is a fact. Marine life tends to stay where the environment is healthy and Galapagos’ amazing environment is responsible for creating an area as unique and pristine that migratory species such as whales, rays, and sharks choose this place as their home.
2. Volcanic Activity
One thing is for certain – you will be mystified by the sight of giant volcanoes on the Galapagos Islands. They are not always dormant as many people might think. As a matter of fact, the most recent volcanic activity that was recorded and spread about the planet was back in September 2017 when the volcano on Fernandina Island began its eruptive activity that many visitors actively and safely witnessed. Millions of years ago, the islands were formed due to a volcanic eruption on the “hot spot”, and due to the movement of the plates, unique ecosystems have been created throughout the islands giving birth to some truly strange animals, such as the flightless cormorant, The Marine Iguanas, and many more.
3. Green Sea Turtle Species
Human life continues to cause huge problems for many of the world’s species, even though the natural world, by itself, is rough, violent and competitive. Human activity adds on to these challenges with things like global warming, ocean acidification, and constant polluting of the oceans, among many more problems. However, not all is lost! Thanks to the creation of marine reserves and island sanctuaries, the entire world’s population of sea turtles is rising. Clean and protected ecosystems such as the Galapagos give many animals a great chance to carry out their life cycles. By keeping these spaces healthy, we not only secure the survival of incredible diversity, but also of humans in general, as we should use the natural resources with care.
4. The Unique Balance of Day and Night
The archipelago lies on the equator and this means that days and nights are the same length. All year long, you can enjoy gorgeous days and starry nights that complete the cycle with precision. This special balance has also created some of the worlds most amazing animal interactions, such as those of the hawk, and the two types of owls that exist in the islands, where they all share special “temporary niches”, by splitting up the day into “feeding Shifts” and thus avoiding competition.
5. The finest examples of Radial Speciation
Speciation is the process by which a single population of a specific animal species, with enough time, separates into a number of other species. As a concept, this can be seen in many places and in many ways, including the various species of Giant Galapagos Tortoises (15 of them in total!!) that have developed from a single common ancestor. But these are not the only species of the Galapagos to have taken speciation to an extreme. As a matter of fact, the most amazing example of speciation in the world can actually be the small inconspicuous Finch birds. These friendly and curious birds will accompany you in virtually every part of your stay in the Galapagos, and amazingly, 18 different species have been identified from these birds!
But beware! As many naturalist guides and scientists like to say, only God and Peter Grant can tell each species apart. (Mr. Grant has spent most of his life’s work studying Darwin finches, and published a Pulitzer award winning book it called “The Beak of the Finch”, which Ikala recommends everyone should read).
6. Lava Tunnels
One of the most surprising facts about volcanic hot spot islands is that when the islands were being melded into what they are today, huge networks of lava tunnels are always created. As a matter of fact, Hawaii, an archipelago that is also born out of geological “Hot Spots”, has some of the longest tunnels in the planet!
The Galapagos has not yet developed spelunking as a massive touristic attraction, but we have among the largest and widest tunnels in the world too! You can visit some of these tunnels while exploring tortoise ranches, and idyllic highland reserves, and let some of the excitement of exploring an underground world fill your senses.
Want to experience all of these natural wonders in person? Come to Galapagos Islands and stay at the best Galapagos Islands hotel, Ikala Hotel. Take this as an early warning that once you visit and stay at our first class Galapagos hotel, you will fall in love! Contact us today for any questions regarding Galapagos activities, Galapagos island tours, or placing your reservation at Ikala Hotel.