The Soqotra island:Where phoenix is revived [Archives:2003/636/Last Page]

May 12 2003
Rare wildlife plants
Rare wildlife plants
Vitaly Naumkin
For the Yemen Times

Soqotra, in itself is a wildlife reservation of plant and tree rarities and a location depicting stages of human society evolution.
In that spot, the grandsons of the ancient nations of the orient are still living. Those nations had at certain stages built in the southern part of the Arab peninsula prosperous states and civilization. Very few is known about that state and less than that is known on the people of Soqotra, their language and aspects of their life style.
The study of the Soqotra people's customs and traditions and rituals will open outlandish pages in the world's history, linked to the role of the ancient Arab peninsula in the development and evolution of human civilization.Studying the Soqotra people language is a very important element for answering the question on the origin of the Semite peoples and and the Semitic languages- the southern arabic language- to which the Soqotra people's language was affiliated.
Soqotra is a natural and botanical museum. We can find in its natural environment approximately 200 unmatched plant species. Plants on Soqotra island can never be found in any other spot of the world.
The island of Soqotra has attention and interest of scientists and bird lovers. Geologically, the Soqotra island acquires a great significance especially because its mountainous archipelago is one of the oldest archipelagos on earth. Useful information can be obtained from the archaeological excavations and comprehensive studies. Answers about the unknown history in the island lies in scientific issues closely related to its early history.
The Soqotra island is located in the basin of the Indian ocean between longitudes, (12-19) and (12-42) and between latitudes (43-20) and (54-30).
The island is 300 km from the nearest point of the southern coast of the peninsula and 200 km to the eastern coast of Africa, (Jafar Dafoy Cape).
The cape is the nearest land point to the island of Soqotra along with other islands nearby that cape.
Soqotra's area ranges between 4150 square km to 6100 square km. It is 120 km long and 35 km wide.
The distance from Aden to Soqotra is 800 km and from al-Mukalla, (largest harbor in the east of Yemen) is about 480 km.
On the halfway between the Jafar Dafoy Cape and the island of Soqotra is Abdulkuri island.
There are also two small islands located between Abdulkuri island and Soqotra known as, Derasa and Samha.
Those two islands are also known as, (The Two Sisters) along with other scattered islands.
Abdulkuri island is one of the densely populated islands in Soqotra.
The ocean's bottom alongside the Soqotra coasts reach 900 meters.deep. The island is by no means consists of granite bottom.
Out of this basement, the Hajar mountain peaks are formed.
Those peaks are located in the middle of the island and are 1500 meters above the sea level.
Geological studies of the island indicate that volcanic eruption happened 60 million years ago. Scrutinizing and studying the island of Soqotra is not an easy task as some people may believe.
Accurately, the name of the island has been mentioned in the Old testament, legends, books and in the publications of the middle east historians and geographers.
The number of books and researches and dedication to this island in these days are inadequate.
The astonishing thing is that despite of the island's strategic location at crossroads of international navigation lines, the island has been still a mysterious puzzle for centuries.
The prevailing life formation in Soqotra is without a shadow of doubt a botanical and that is why the island has been featured by its unique and rare plant wildlife.

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Rare plants detected
The euphorbia plant, swollen bulky-like trees from the bottom. Their milk-like juices are secreted by its gray trunk.
Its bent-coiled branches and its tiny yellow roses produce cucumber-like inedible fruits.
The Adenium Arabicum tree has a very thick trunks and are potbellied and gray in color.
Due to its too much liquid, the tree seems to explode.
Its trunk falls into two or three potbelly- like stems.
During the spring season, the Adenium Arabicum tree is not found also in Soqotra, it is also found in the southern parts of the Arab peninsula but they are about one meter long.
While in Soqotra, I have found the Adenium Arabicum tree in the island longer and higher and about 5 meters long.
There is a short tree called by the people of Soqotra, Trimo which has got thick trunk and short branches with little leaves.
During the spring season, the tree can not be seen because of the flowers covered its branches.
The tree could live longer without too much rain, because, the tree could preserve water in its trunk for a longer period.
Its juice is poisonous in Africa and that is why that substance used to be added to the pearl points.
It is therefore used harmful to the central nervous system.
The people of Soqotra use the juice of Adenium Arabicum for treating eye diseases.