The mystery and wonder of the Galapagos Islands revealed
The Galapagos Islands are a group of small islands that formed due to volcanic activity and the shifting of the earth’s tectonic plates only 400 million years ago. They are among the youngest land masses on the planet, and they are also among the most unique and mysterious. This area, near the equator has been described as remote, hostile, and unforgiving. They are also described as being the most beautiful and wonderful islands anywhere. Charles Darwin put this place on the map when he studied life here almost 200 years ago and he remarked that the creatures were surprisingly unique and diverse. Understanding that the animals on each island had physically changed with each generation, to adapt to their surroundings, it formed the cornerstone of his theory of evolution. This theory changed the way we saw animals, life on our planet, and even our own species.
Exploring the Galapagos Islands is one of the most thrilling and fascinating adventures possible. This video shows just a small sample of what a group of Canadians experienced when they embarked on a one week adventure cruise on the Galapagos Sky tour boat. They sailed to Wolf and Darwin Islands where they put on scuba gear and plunged into the deep to swim among huge schools of hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, Pacific green turtles, sea lions, manta rays, and thousands of species of fish. Despite the wonder and beauty of these creatures, the one animal that they most wanted to see up close was the magnificent whale shark. Whale sharks are the biggest fish in the ocean, and with the exception of a few species of whale, they are the biggest animals ever. Measuring up to 55 feet in length and weighing over 100,000 pounds, swimming beside a whale shark leaves a scuba diver with a sense of awe and admiration that is difficult to describe.
The divers also spent time with the marine iguanas, a bizarre species of lizard that feasts on the algae that grows under the waves. These iguanas bask in the sun until they have stored up enough warmth to brave the cold surf for long enough to fill their bellies with food each day.
The Galapagos Islands have been described as “Islands born of Fire”, and even “Hell on earth” due to the hot climate and sparse vegetation, as well as the abundance of large lizards with sinister looking faces. But among the hardship and the hostile environment, creatures have adapted to life here and they thrive. For those who are up for the journey and the challenge, the Galapagos Islands are the most beautiful place on earth.