The Art and Science of the Middle of Nowhere (AKA The Galapagos Islands)

From Quito and the mainland, the Galapagos Islands are about 1,00km due west (or directly toward middle-of-nowhere, the Pacific Ocean). As some of the youngest landmasses on Earth, they were formed by a tectonic hot spot on the Earth’s Nazca plate. The hot spot stays in one place relative to the Earth’s core, but as the Nazca plate is slowing shifting southeast, new areas of surface ocean are always occupying the area over the hot spot, which resulted in the archipelago of islands the Galapagos is today (if you’re really keen you can check out some more info here: http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/galsite/research/projects/leonard/Geospot.htm).

The beginning of my trip brought me to one of the oldest islands of the bunch, San Cristobal (the patron saint of seafarers).

Each of the islands is home to some of the most unique collections of wildlife inhabitants on the face of the planet.

Where else would you find flying boobies!? (Seriously though, the birds are called red-footed boobies)

Where else would you find flying boobies!? (Seriously though, the birds are called red-footed boobies)

Since the islands were never connected to the main land at any point in history, all of the animals that currently reside there needed to have made the long 1000km on their own.

After the long 1000km journey, the animals are ready to just mess around apparently :P

After the long 1000km journey, the animals are ready to just mess around apparently :P

Birds flew and fish swam, but land animals like tortoises and iguanas has to put their hardy natures to creative use and float their way over (both tortoises and iguanas can survive for months on end without food and tortoises have enough air in their shells to keep them afloat).

The Art 7

(Not all of them may have made it)

(Not all of them may have made it, though this is likely to just be a skin shedding, don’t worry)

Since only a select few species of animals could pass the migration test required to call the Galapagos home, very few animals on the islands face threats from natural predators.

So basically all the animals except for this guy are pretty happy all the time!

So basically all the animals except for this guy are pretty happy all the time!

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