The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of 22 volcanic islands 600 miles off the western coast of Ecuador. They are best known for their unique flora and fauna, including the Galápagos tortoise, which the islands are named after (galápago is the Spanish word for tortoise). In addition to its impressive size, this tortoise also has incredible longevity, living an average of 100 years. And why wouldn’t they? Their days involve eating, taking sun baths and napping.
Other animals on the islands have developed unique adaptations to their living surroundings, as noted by the famous scientist Charles Darwin in his book On the Origin of Species, in which proposed the idea of evolution. Species such as the marine iguana, for example, are found exclusively on the Galápagos Islands. They may be descendants of a land iguana species that drifted ashore to the islands and, by natural selection, gained the ability to swim and hold their breath for up to 10 minutes in order to survive on the island.
In addition to its animals that are found nowhere else in the world, the islands are also known for their volcanic activity and picturesque beaches.