The Galapagos Shark can grow up to ten feet long and can swim at depths up to 200 ft. When their pups are born they flee to shallow waters to gain strength and also to avoid being eaten by their parents!
Volcanoes formed the Galapagos Islands as far back as four million years ago, rising out of the sea over a “hot spot” under the Earth’s crust. Many of the younger islands are still over this spot. During the last 200 years there have been as many as sixty eruptions from active volcanoes as recent as 2009.
Charles Darwin tried to ride the giant tortoises
It’s true; Darwin wrote in his journal about approaching tortoises, which would retreat into their shells. Then he would climb on to of the reptile when it began moving again. He recalled that it was difficult to keep his balance…”
Photo by: Juan Proaño
The Galapagos imports most of its fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, water and other vital supplies daily from barges arriving from the mainland. One of the exceptions to this rule is coffee.
Coffee has been produced in the Galapagos dating back to 1869 when one of the first landowners planted the first arabica typica coffee plants in the Galapagos.
Today, coffee from the Galapagos can be bought worldwide as Starbucks is the biggest buyer and exporter of coffee from the islands. The rich, volcanic soil and unique conditions of the islands produce a blend that is as unique as the Galapagos themselves.
It’s the First World Heritage site
In 1978 UNESCO designated the Galapagos Islands as their first World Heritage site. They also hold the distinction of being Ecuador’s first national park; dedicated in 1959 to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species.
Diving in Galapagos
The Galapagos Islands have about 30 dive sites which can be accessed by day trips and liveaboard charters. Twenty percent of the marine life found under the sea are unique to the islands and can’t be found elsewhere.
Galapagos In Literature
n addition to being the site that inspired Darwin to set off on a lifelong quest that would eventually become The Origin of the Species, The Galapagos Islands were also discovered by Herman Melville during the whaling boom. He wrote about his findings in The Encantadas, 10 sketches published in 1854 and then added to the The Piazza Tales in 1856.