The Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands can be found in the eastern Pacific Ocean, right under the equator, at a distance of thousands of kilometers from the coast of the South American republic of Ecuador, where they belong. The archipelago consists of 16 volcanic islands area of 7800 square km. For the first time the name of the Galapagos introduced in 1574, the Dutch cartographer Abraham Ortelius.

The Galapagos Islands are of volcanic origin

The Galapagos Islands are of volcanic origin. Here there are 17 volcanoes. The highest among them is Albemarle on Isabela island. Many of the island's rocky and almost devoid of vegetation, and therefore uninhabited. Despite the fact that the Galapagos Islands are located right under the equator, they do not differ very hot climate. Average Galapagos air temperature does not exceed 23 degrees C. This is due to the flowing cold current of Humboldt. Moreover, relatively cold air over the land and heated rapidly absorbs moisture, instead of giving it. That is why the land in the islands is as dry as on the shores of Chile and Peru, which are washed over this.

Rain falls only from December to March, because at this time over the Humboldt meets the warm current that is suitable here in the northwest. The Spaniards called it El Nin'o, or "child". It reaches the Galapagos Islands in Christmas and brings rain and fog shroud. During this period the coast of the Galapagos Islands for a short time, dress with fresh herbs. However, most of the islands, the climate is arid and water is never enough here. Therefore, next to each of the houses of the local population's small living only on some of the islands, it is certainly worth a tank, which collected rainwater is used for drinking and for domestic use.

Galapagos Islands attract unrelenting attention of scientists. The fact that there remained a unique flora and fauna. Precisely because of their happy named Charles Darwin. And this unique, first of all, is that it is closely coexist flora and fauna of the tropics and polar latitudes. Vines and mosses, parrots, penguins and polar gulls, the inhabitants of the cold waters of seals, sea lions and giant tropical sea turtles. Unfortunately, the giant sea turtles with shells with a diameter of over one meter, there is still a little bit, because of the unlimited hunting for them in the past.

Are allocated as land and marine iguanas, ancient relatives of dinosaurs, skeletons on display in museums. Despite its seemingly predatory appearance, it is exclusively for peaceful animals. They eat only plant foods. Unfortunately, great damage to the local fauna here dealt imported animals: dogs, cats, pigs, goats. Many of them are wild and multiplied. To save a unique local nature, the Galapagos Islands in 1959 declared a National Park.

The first people came to the Galapagos Islands in the time of the great geographical discoveries, by accident. It was an expedition of Spanish bishop Tommaso de Berlanga, which is February 23, 1535 set sail from the port of Panama to the Peruvian coast. Berlanga first explored the Galapagos Islands and described their unique fauna.

The Galapagos Islands are interested in ubiquitous at the time of pirates. Here they found a comfortable refuge where you can safely divide and hide production, repair ships and stock up delicious meat turtles and seals.

After the pirates considerable attention to the archipelago, industrialists expressed whaling. They hunted here for turtles and seals, then their population has decreased dramatically.

However, well-known Galapagos Islands began only in the middle of the last century after a visit to the Charles Darwin on the ship "Beagle" and the publication of his book "The Origin of Species".