The Galapagos Islands are known for their natural beauty, incredible wildlife, and wonderful weather! They are ideal vacation spots and are booming hubs for tourism every year. But, these islands also have a fascinating and rich history, some of which many of us have no idea about! So, with that in mind, here are some fun facts about the Galapagos Islands to clue up on.
1. It’s technically an archipelago.
The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. An archipelago is a group of islands, hence the name being in the plural form!
2. Land, ho!
The Galapagos Islands are actually made up of 127 islands, rocks, and tiny islets! However, there are only 19 main islands, and only four are inhabited. The four main islands are Isabela, Floreana, San Cristobal and Santa Cruz.
3. She’s gonna blow!
The Galapagos Islands are in part known for their active volcanoes! In fact, their most recent incident was in 2018, with the eruption of the Sierra Negra volcano. Thankfully, very little damage was done, and the wildlife around the volcano was mostly preserved.
4. The many names of the Galapagos Islands…
Although we mostly know them as being the Galapagos Islands, did you know that they have multiple names – collectively? This archipelago is also known as the Archipielago de Colon and the Enchanted Islands. The latter came from their mysterious appearance during a thick fog that was witnessed by Tomas de Berlanga, one-time Archbishop of Panama.
5. It’s a highly protected area.
Thanks to its natural beauty and fascinating wildlife, the Galapagos Islands have been classed as a National Park! They are also a UNESCO world heritage site, collectively.
6. Location, location, location!
If you’re looking for a hot vacation somewhere, the Galapagos Islands could seriously be the perfect place for your next trip away – as they are all situated around the equator. As you can imagine, the weather here gets pretty hot, usually between 69˚ and 86˚ Fahrenheit.
7. It’s ancient land!
Although these islands may seem like modern holiday destinations, they’ve actually been around for millennia! In fact, the youngest island is already about one million years old! Espanola, the oldest island in the Galapagos, is said to be around four million years old.
8. Happy Feet!
Among the amazing wildlife you will find on the Galapagos Islands are those you might never have expected to see. The Galapagos are, in fact, hosts to tropical penguins!
9. Just keep swimming!
There are around 400 different fish species swimming around the Galapagos Islands. If you’re interested in marine life, then you’ll be fascinated to know that about 50 of the species are completely unique to the areas around this archipelago.
10. Turning tortoise!
The Galapagos Islands are home to more than just interesting marine life. Their land animals are just as fascinating – the aptly named Galapagos tortoises are known for their giant statures, with adults weighing around 250kg!
FAQs about The Galapagos Islands
How long do Galapagos tortoises live?
Galapagos tortoises are also the longest-living animals on the planet - a healthy specimen can live over 150 years!
How many seasons are there on the Galapagos Islands?
Unlike those of us living across the northern hemisphere, the Galapagos Islands only see two seasons per year. They have a dry season from June to December and a wet season running from December through to May.
Why are the Galapagos Islands linked to Charles Darwin?
People often think of Charles Darwin when they think of the Galapagos Islands due to the scientist’s famous book, ‘The Origin of Species’. Darwin refers to the archipelago as being ‘a little world within itself’. In fact, his book has been credited for helping to preserve the islands and wildlife on and around them for decades!
Do you know any fun facts about the Galápagos Islands? Share them in the comments below!