The Info List - Socotra

(Arabic: سُقُطْرَى‎ Suquṭra), also spelled Soqotra, is an archipelago of four islands located in the Arabian Sea, the largest island of which is also known as Socotra. The territory is part of Yemen, and had long been a subdivision of the Aden Governorate. In 2004, it became attached to the Hadhramaut Governorate, which is much closer to the island than Aden
(although the nearest governorate was the Al Mahrah Governorate). In 2013, the archipelago became its own governorate, the Socotra
Governorate. The island of Socotra
constitutes around 95% of the landmass of the Socotra
archipelago. It lies some 240 kilometres (150 mi) east of the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
and 380 kilometres (240 mi) south of the Arabian Peninsula.[2] The island is very isolated, home to a high number of endemic species; up to a third of its plant life is endemic. It has been described as "the most alien-looking place on Earth."[3] The island measures 132 kilometres (82 mi) in length and 49.7 kilometres (30.9 mi) in width.[4]


1 Etymology 2 History 3 Sukhadhara and mainland India 4 Geography and climate 5 Flora
and fauna

5.1 UNESCO recognition

6 Demographics

6.1 Religion

7 Economy 8 Transport 9 Gallery 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links

Etymology[edit] In the notes to his translation of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, G.W.B. Huntingford remarks that the name Suqotra is not Greek in origin, but from the Sanskrit
dvīpa ("island") sukhadhara ("supporting, or providing bliss").[3] History[edit]

Map of the Socotra

There was initially an Oldowan
lithic culture in Socotra. Oldowan stone tools were found in the area around Hadibo
by V.A. Zhukov, a member of the Russian Complex Expedition in 2008.[5][6][7] Socotra
appears as Dioskouridou ("of the Dioscuri[8]") in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a 1st-century AD Greek navigation aid. A recent discovery of texts in several languages, including a wooden tablet in Palmyrene dated to the 3rd century AD, indicate the diverse origins of those who used Socotra
as a trading base in antiquity.[9] In 2001 a group of Belgian speleologists of the Socotra
Project investigated a cave on the island Socotra. There, they came across a large number of inscriptions, drawings and archaeological objects.[10][11] Further investigation showed that these had been left by sailors who visited the island between the 1st century BC and the 6th century AD. Most of the texts are written in the Indian Brāhmī script, but there are also inscriptions in South Arabian, Ethiopic, Greek, Palmyrene and Bactrian scripts and languages. This corpus of nearly 250 texts and drawings thus constitutes one of the main sources for the investigation of Indian Ocean trade
Indian Ocean trade
networks in that time period.[12] A local tradition holds that the inhabitants were converted to Christianity
by Thomas the Apostle
Thomas the Apostle
in AD 52. In the 10th century, the Arab
geographer Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Hamdani stated that in his time most of the inhabitants were Christians. Socotra
is also mentioned in The Travels of Marco Polo; Marco Polo
Marco Polo
did not pass anywhere near the island but recorded a report that "the inhabitants are baptised Christians and have an 'archbishop'" who, it is further explained, "has nothing to do with the Pope in Rome, but is subject to an archbishop who lives at Baghdad." They were Nestorians but also practised ancient magic rituals despite the warnings of their archbishop.[13] In 1507, a Portuguese fleet commanded by Tristão da Cunha
Tristão da Cunha
with Afonso de Albuquerque landed at the then capital of Suq and captured the port after a stiff battle. Their objective was to set a base in a strategic place on the route to India, and to liberate the presumed friendly Christians from Islamic rule. Tomás Fernandes started to build a fortress at Suq, the Forte de São Miguel de Socotorá. However, the infertility of the land led to famine and sickness in the garrison. Moreover, the lack of a proper harbour for wintering led to the loss of many moored Portuguese ships, the most important of which was the Santo António galleon under the command of captain Manuel Pais da Veiga.[14] Thus the Portuguese abandoned the island four years later, as it was not advantageous as a base.[15]

1893 map of the Bombay Presidency
Bombay Presidency
including Aden Province
Aden Province
and Socotra.

The islands passed under the control of the Mahra sultans in 1511, and its inhabitants were Islamized during their rule.[16] However, in 1737, Captain de la Garde-Jazier, commander of a French naval expedition heading for Mocha, was surprised to find Christian tribes living in the interior of Socotra
during a five-week stopover on the island. He reported in a letter home that the tribesmen, "due to lack of missionaries, had only retained a faint knowledge of Christianity."[17] In 1834, the East India
Company, in the expectation that the Mahra sultan of Qishn and Socotra, who resided at Qishn on the mainland, would accept an offer to sell the island, stationed a garrison on Socotra. However, faced with the unexpected firm refusal of the sultan to sell, as well as the lack of good anchorages for a coaling station to be used by the new steamship line being put into service on the Suez-Bombay route, the British left in 1835. After the capture of Aden in 1839, the British lost all interest in acquiring Socotra. In January 1876, in exchange for a payment of 3000 thalers and a yearly subsidy, the sultan pledged "himself, his heirs and successors, never to cede, to sell, to mortgage, or otherwise give for occupation, save to the British Government, the Island
of Socotra
or any of its dependencies." Additionally, he pledged to give assistance to any European vessel that wrecked on the island and protect the crew, the passengers and the cargo, in exchange for a suitable reward.[18] In April 1886, the British government, concerned about reports that the German navy had been visiting various ports in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean for the purpose of securing a naval base, decided to conclude a protectorate treaty with the sultan in which he promised this time to "refrain from entering into any correspondence, agreement, or treaty with any foreign nation or power, except with the knowledge and sanction of the British Government", and give immediate notice to the British Resident at Aden
of any attempt by another power to interfere with Socotra
and its dependencies.[19] Apart from those obligations, this preemptive protectorate treaty, designed above all to seal off Socotra
from competing colonial powers, left the sultan in control of the island. In 1897, the P&O ship Aden
sank after being wrecked on a reef near Socotra, with the loss of 78 lives. As some of the cargo had been plundered by islanders, the sultan was reminded of his obligations under the agreement of 1876.[20] In October 1967, in the wake of the departure of the British from Aden and southern Arabia, the Mahra Sultanate
Mahra Sultanate
as well as the other states of the former Aden
Protectorate were abolished. On 30 November of the same year, Socotra
became part of South Yemen. Since Yemeni unification in 1990, it has been part of the Republic of Yemen. Today, Socotra
is the only region of Yemen
not to be involved in the disastrous civil war, with no military confrontations or attacks having taken place on the island. On January 29, 2018, the local Southern Transitional Council
Southern Transitional Council
leadership on the archipelago declared their support for the STC during Hadi infighting in and around Aden.[21] Sukhadhara and mainland India[edit] Indians have been residing in the Socotra
archipelago since ancient times and the name Socotra
is itself derived from Dvipa Sukhadhara in India's Sanskrit. Indians were residing in the islands at least since 1st century BCE and 6th century CE and were practicing agriculture. The Belgian Socotra
Project (SKP) has revealed numerous Indian inscriptions particularly in the island´s most impressive caves: Hoq Cave at the north-east coast of Socotra
in the Brahmi script
Brahmi script
of near western India
and Kharoshti
script of north western India
comprising the area of present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan in the northwestern part of the Indian Subcontinent. An important early Christian leader who was himself most probably a Socotran was Theophilus (called Theophilos the Indian or Theophilus the Arian). "Theophilus was an adherent of Arianism, a heresy that was widespread through the church for centuries. Arius, the originator of this pernicious fallacy, denied the Holy Trinity and the Deity of Christ". Samuel H. Moffett alias Samuel Hugh Moffett describes the ministry of Theophilus and his missionary journeys that took place in 354 AD:,[22] Theophilus “the Indian” a native of the Islands of Socotra
[23] in the Indian Ocean… was held in Rome as a hostage, converted to Christianity, and was sent by Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
Constantius II
Constantius II
on an embassy that included visit to his homeland in the Islands of Socotra, and to “other parts of India.” According to the Acts of Thomas, St. Thomas initially arrived in north western India
to the Kingdom of Gomdapharnasa or Gudapharasa comprising Baluchistan, Sistan, Kabul and Panjab and then he departed from northwestern India
and sojourned in the island of Socotra
in 52 AD following a shipwreck where the inhabitants were converted to Christianity
before returning to the mainland part of the country where he arrived at the port of Kodungallur
in Kerala. The city of Andrapolis named in the Acts, where Judas Thomas and Abbanes landed in India, has been identified as Sandaruck (one of the ancient Alexandrias) in Baluchistan. Socotra
was also a part of Bombay Presidency in British administered India
but was separated from the rest of India
in 1937 when Aden
was detached vide the Government of India
Act, 1935. Geography and climate[edit]

Halah Cave (كهف حالة) in the east of the island is several hundred metres deep, with total darkness. Stalagmites and stalactites show how high it can reach compared to the 1.7 metres (5.6 ft) man with the torch.

is one of the most isolated landforms on Earth of continental origin (i.e. not of volcanic origin). The archipelago was once part of the supercontinent of Gondwana
and detached during the Miocene
epoch, in the same set of rifting events that opened the Gulf of Aden
to its northwest.[24] The archipelago consists of the main island of Socotra
(3,665 km2 (1,415 sq mi)), the three smaller islands of Abd al Kuri, Samhah
and Darsa, as well as small rock outcrops like Ka'l Fir'awn and Sābūnīyah that are uninhabitable by humans but important for seabirds.[25] The main island has three geographical terrains: the narrow coastal plains, a limestone plateau permeated with karstic caves, and the Haghier Mountains.[26] The mountains rise to 1,503 metres (4,931 ft).[27] The island is about 125 kilometres (78 mi) long and 45 kilometres (28 mi) north to south.[28] The climate of Socotra
is classified in the Köppen climate classification as BWh and BSh, meaning a tropical desert climate and semi-desert climate with a mean annual temperature over 25 °C or 77 °F. Yearly rainfall is light, but is fairly spread throughout the year. Due to orographic lift provided by the interior mountains, especially during the northeast monsoon from October to December, the highest inland areas can average as much as 800 millimetres (31.50 in) per year and receive over 250 millimetres (9.84 in) per month in November or December.[29] The southwest monsoon season from July to September brings strong winds and high seas. For many centuries, the sailors of Gujarat called the maritime route near Socotra
as “Sikotro Sinh”, meaning the lion of Socotra, that constantly roars—referring to the high seas near Socotra.[citation needed] In an extremely unusual occurrence, the western side of Socotra received more than 410 millimetres (16.14 in) of rain from Cyclone Chapala
Cyclone Chapala
in November 2015.[30]

Climate data for Socotra

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 27.2 (81) 28.5 (83.3) 30.5 (86.9) 32.7 (90.9) 34.2 (93.6) 33.9 (93) 32.0 (89.6) 32.3 (90.1) 32.7 (90.9) 31.4 (88.5) 29.8 (85.6) 28.0 (82.4) 31.1 (87.98)

Daily mean °C (°F) 22.0 (71.6) 23.4 (74.1) 25.1 (77.2) 27.5 (81.5) 28.9 (84) 29.0 (84.2) 27.6 (81.7) 27.5 (81.5) 27.6 (81.7) 26.0 (78.8) 24.2 (75.6) 22.7 (72.9) 25.96 (78.73)

Average low °C (°F) 16.8 (62.2) 18.3 (64.9) 19.8 (67.6) 22.2 (72) 23.7 (74.7) 24.1 (75.4) 23.2 (73.8) 22.8 (73) 22.6 (72.7) 20.6 (69.1) 18.7 (65.7) 17.5 (63.5) 20.86 (69.55)

Average rainfall mm (inches) 23 (0.91) 18 (0.71) 14 (0.55) 22 (0.87) 37 (1.46) 18 (0.71) 12 (0.47) 15 (0.59) 27 (1.06) 38 (1.5) 18 (0.71) 16 (0.63) 258 (10.17)

Average rainy days (≥ 0.0 mm) 2.0 2.0 2.1 3.4 4.1 6.0 9.7 9.3 4.9 3.2 3.0 3.0 52.7

Average relative humidity (%) 20 21 24 27 29 29 28 27 27 25 22 21 25

Source: Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia[31]

and fauna[edit] See also: List of spiders of Socotra

Endemic tree species Dracaena cinnabari

An 1890s photograph of endemic tree species Dendrosicyos socotrana, the cucumber tree, by Henry Ogg Forbes

is considered the jewel of biodiversity in the Arabian Sea.[32] In the 1990s, a team of United Nations
United Nations
biologists conducted a survey of the archipelago’s flora and fauna. They counted nearly 700 endemic species, found nowhere else on earth; only New Zealand,[33] Hawaii, New Caledonia, and the Galápagos Islands
Galápagos Islands
have more impressive numbers.[34] The long geological isolation of the Socotra
archipelago and its fierce heat and drought have combined to create a unique and spectacular endemic flora. Botanical field surveys led by the Centre for Middle Eastern Plants, part of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, indicate that 307 out of the 825 (37%) plant species on Socotra
are endemic, i.e., they are found nowhere else on Earth.[35] The entire flora of the Socotra Archipelago
Socotra Archipelago
has been assessed for the IUCN Red List, with 3 Critically Endangered and 27 Endangered plant species recognised in 2004.[35] One of the most striking of Socotra's plants is the dragon's blood tree (Dracaena cinnabari), which is a strange-looking, umbrella-shaped tree. Its red sap was thought to be the dragon's blood of the ancients, sought after as a dye, and today used as paint and varnish.[35] Also important in ancient times were Socotra's various endemic aloes, used medicinally, and for cosmetics. Other endemic plants include the giant succulent tree Dorstenia gigas, the cucumber tree Dendrosicyos socotranus, the rare Socotran pomegranate (Punica protopunica), Aloe
perryi, and Boswellia socotrana.[36] The island group also has a rich fauna, including several endemic species of birds, such as the Socotra starling
Socotra starling
(Onychognathus frater), the Socotra sunbird
Socotra sunbird
(Nectarinia balfouri), Socotra bunting
Socotra bunting
(Emberiza socotrana), Socotra cisticola
Socotra cisticola
(Cisticola haesitatus), Socotra
sparrow (Passer insularis), Socotra golden-winged grosbeak
Socotra golden-winged grosbeak
(Rhynchostruthus socotranus), and a species in a monotypic genus, the Socotra
warbler (Incana incana).[36] Many of the bird species are endangered by predation by non-native feral cats.[34] With only one endemic mammal, 6 endemic bird species and no amphibians, reptiles constitute the most relevant Socotran vertebrate fauna with 31 species. If one excludes the two recently introduced species, Hemidactylus robustus and Hemidactylus flaviviridis, all native species are endemic. There is a very high level of endemism at both species (29 of 31, 94%) and genus levels (5 of 12, 42%). At the species level, endemicity may be even higher, as phylogenetic studies have uncovered substantial hidden diversity.[37] The reptiles species include skinks, legless lizards, and one species of chameleon, Chamaeleo monachus. There are many endemic invertebrates, including several spiders (such as the tarantula Monocentropus
balfouri) and three species of freshwater crabs (one Socotra
and two Socotrapotamon).[38] As with many isolated island systems, bats are the only mammals native to Socotra. In contrast, the coral reefs of Socotra
are diverse, with many endemic species.[36] Socotra
is also one of the homes of the butterfly Bicyclus anynana.[39] Over the two thousand years of human settlement on the islands the environment has slowly but continuously changed, and according to Jonathan Kingdon, "the animals and plants that remain represent a degraded fraction of what once existed."[36] The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea says the island had crocodiles and large lizards, and the present reptilian fauna appears to be greatly reduced. Until a few centuries ago, there were rivers and wetlands on the island, greater stocks of the endemic trees, and abundant pasture. The Portuguese recorded the presence of water buffaloes in the early 17th century. Now there are only sand gullies, and many native plants only survive where there is greater moisture or protection from livestock.[36] The remaining Socotra
fauna is greatly threatened by goats and other introduced species. UNESCO recognition[edit] The island was recognised by the United Nations
United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a world natural heritage site in July 2008. The European Union
European Union
has supported such a move, calling on both UNESCO and International Organisation of Protecting Environment to classify the island archipelago among the environmental heritages.[40] Demographics[edit] Most of the inhabitants are indigenous Soqotri people
Soqotri people
from Al-Mahrah tribe, who are of Southern Arabian descent from Al Mahrah Governorate,[1] and are said to be especially closely related with the Qara and Mahra groups of Southern Arabia.[41] There are also a small number of residents of Somali and Indian origin.[1] In addition, the island is inhabited by various Black African peoples, who are believed to be descendants of runaway slaves.[41] The Semitic language Soqotri, spoken originally only in Socotra
by Al-Mahrah people, is related to such other Modern South Arabian languages on the Arabian mainland as Mehri, Harsusi, Bathari, Shehri, and Hobyot. The majority of male residents on Socotra
are reported to be in the J* subclade of Y-DNA haplogroup J. Several of the female lineages on the island, notably those in mtDNA haplogroup N, are found nowhere else on Earth.[42] Almost all inhabitants of Socotra, numbering nearly 50,000, live on the homonymous main island of the archipelago.[32] The principal city, Hadibu
(with a population of 8,545 at the census of 2004); the second largest town, Qalansiyah (population 3,862); and Qād̨ub (population 929) are all located on the north coast of the island of Socotra.[43] Only about 450 people live on 'Abd-al-Kūrī and 100 on Samha; the island of Darsa
and the islets of the archipelago are uninhabited.[44] The archipelago forms two districts of the Hadhramaut Governorate:

the district of Hadibu
(حديبو), with a population of 32,285 and a district seat at Hadibu, consists of the eastern two-thirds of the main island of Socotra; the district of Qulansiyah wa 'Abd-al-Kūrī (قلنسيه وعبد الكوري), with a population of 10,557 and a district seat at Qulansiyah, consists of the minor islands (the island of 'Abd-al-Kūrī chief among them) and the western third of the main island.

Religion[edit] The islanders followed indigenous religions until 52 AD, when, according to local beliefs, Thomas the Apostle
Thomas the Apostle
was shipwrecked there on his way to evangelize India.[45] He then supposedly constructed a church out of his ship's wreckage and baptized many Socotrans.[45] After this, Christianity
became the main religion of the island.[45] They followed Nestorius, the Catholic Archbishop
of Constantinople, who was later excommunicated for heresies. The Socotrans remained loyal to his teachings and joined the Assyrian church.[45] During the 10th century, Arab
geographer Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Hamdani recorded during his visits that most of the islanders were Christian. Explorer Marco Polo
Marco Polo
wrote in his travelogue:

I give you my word that the people of this island are the most expert enchanters in the world. It is true that the archbishop does not approve of these enchantments and rebukes them for the practice. But this has no effect, because they say that their forefathers did these things of old.[46]

in Socotra
went into decline when the Mahra sultanate took power in the 16th century and became mostly Muslim by the time the Portuguese arrived later that century.[46] An 1884 edition of Nature, a science journal, writes that the disappearance of Christian churches and monuments can be accounted for by a Wahhabi excursion to the island in 1800.[47] Today the only remnants of Christianity
are some cross engravings from the 1st century AD, a few Christian tombs, and some church ruins.[48] Economy[edit] The primary occupations of the people of Socotra
have traditionally been fishing, animal husbandry, and the cultivation of dates. Monsoons long made the archipelago inaccessible from June to September each year. However, in July 1999, a new airport opened Socotra
to the outside world all year round. There is regular service to and from Aden
and Sana'a. All scheduled commercial flights make a technical stop at Riyan- Mukalla
Airport. Socotra Airport
Socotra Airport
is located about 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) west of the main city, Hadibu, and close to the third largest town in the archipelago, Qād̨ub.[49] Diesel generators make electricity widely available in Socotra. A paved road runs along the north shore from Qulansiyah to Hadibu
and then to the DiHamri area; and another paved road, from the northern coast to the southern through the Dixsam Plateau.[citation needed] The former capital is located to the east of Hadibu. A small Yemeni Army barracks lies at the western end of Hadibu, and the former President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, had a residence there.[citation needed] Some residents raise cattle and goats. The chief export products of the island are dates, ghee, tobacco, and fish. At the end of the 1990s, a United Nations
United Nations
Development Program was launched with the aim of providing a close survey of the island of Socotra.[50] The project called Socotra
Governance and Biodiversity Project have listed following goals from 2009:

Local governance support Development and implementation of mainstreaming tools Strengthening nongovernmental organizations' advocacy Direction of biodiversity conservation benefits to the local people Support to the fisheries sector and training of professionals

In February 2014, the Economist magazine
Economist magazine
reported that Socotra
was being considered as a possible site for the Yemeni jihadist rehabilitation program.[51] Transport[edit] Public transport on Socotra
is limited to a few minibuses; car hire usually means hiring a 4WD car with driver.[52][53] Transport is a delicate matter on Socotra
because, as much as modern transportation has its advantages, road construction has been considered detrimental to the island and its ecosystem. The most harm is being done by chemical pollution from road construction and road provoked habitat fragmentation.[54] For more eco-friendly alternatives, companies have started offering bicycle[55] and enduro motorcycle tours[56] on Socotra. The only port on Socotra
is 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) east of Hadibu. Ships connect the port with the Yemeni coastal city of Mukalla. According to information from the ports, the journey takes 2–3 days and the service is used mostly for cargo. Yemenia
and Felix Airways
Felix Airways
flew from Socotra Airport
Socotra Airport
to Sana'a
and Aden via Riyan Airport. As of March 2015, due to ongoing civil war involving Saudi Arabia's Air Force all flights to and from Socotra have been canceled.[57] Gallery[edit]

Other sights






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islands scenery in Yemen". en.youth.cn. China Youth International. 25 April 2008.  ^ a b Huntingford, George Wynn Brereton (1980). The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. Hakluyt Society. p. 103. ISBN 0-904180-05-0.  ^ Abrams, Avi (4 September 2008). "The Most Alien-Looking Place on Earth". Dark Roasted Blend.  ^ Amirkhanov, K.A.; Zhukov, V.A.; Naumkin, V.V.; Sedov, A.V. (2009). Эпоха олдована открыта на острове Сокотра. Pripoda (in Russian) (7).  ^ Davuov, O. M.; Shunkov, M. V. "Международньій Симлозиум "Древнейшие Миграции Человека В Евразии" Махачкала, 6 – 12 сентября 2009 года".  ^ Zhukov, Valery A. (2014) The Results of Research of the Stone Age Sites in the Island
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(Yemen): A first-time assessment of the timing of the monsoon wind reversal and its influence on precipitation and vegetation patterns’; Journal of Arid Environments, vol. 74, issue 11 (November 2010); pp. 1507-1515 ^ Fritz, Angela (5 November 2015). "The mediocre model forecasts of Cyclone Chapala's rainfall over Yemen".  ^ "Climate of Socotra". Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia.  ^ a b FACTBOX-Socotra, jewel of biodiversity in Arabian Sea. Reuters, 2008-04-23 ^ Taonga, New Zealand
New Zealand
Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Manatu. "1. – Native plants and animals – overview – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand". www.teara.govt.nz. Retrieved 2017-06-09.  ^ a b Burdick, Alan (25 March 2007). "The Wonder Land of Socotra". T Magazine. New York: New York Times. Retrieved 9 November 2009.  ^ a b c Miller, A.G.; Morris, M. (2004). Ethnoflora of the Socotra Archipelago. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.  ^ a b c d e Kingdon, Jonathan (1989). Island
Africa: The Evolution of Africa's Rare Plants and Animals. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. pp. 38–42. ISBN 0-691-08560-9.  ^ Vasconcelos R, Montero-Mendieta S, Simó-Riudalbas M, Sindaco R, Santos X, et al. (2016) Unexpectedly High Levels of Cryptic Diversity Uncovered by a Complete DNA Barcoding of Reptiles of the Socotra Archipelago. PLOS ONE 11(3): e0149985. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0149985 ^ Apel, M. and Brandis, D. 2000. A new species of freshwater crab (Crustacea: Brachyura: Potamidae) from Socotra
and description of Socotrapotamon n. gen. Fauna
of Arabia
18: 133-144. ^ Bicyclus, Site of Markku Savela ^ "EU to protect Socotra
archipelago environment". Saba Net. Yemen News Agency (SABA). 15 April 2008.  ^ a b Lockyer, Norman, ed. (1884). "Socotra". Nature. 29 (755): 575–576. doi:10.1038/029575b0.  ^ Černý, Viktor; Pereira, Luísa; Kujanová, Martina; Vašíková, Alžběta; Hájek, Martin; Morris, Miranda; Mulligan, Connie J. (April 2009). "Out of Arabia—The settlement of Island
Soqotra as revealed by mitochondrial and Y chromosome genetic diversity" (PDF). American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 138 (4). doi:10.1002/ajpa.20960. PMID 19012329.  ^ "Final Census
Results2004: The General Frame of the Population Final Results (First Report)". The General Population Housing and Establishment Census2004. Central Statistical Organisation. 6 January 2007. Retrieved 6 July 2013.  ^ "Default Page". www.socotraproject.org.  ^ a b c d " Socotra
history :: Socotra
Eco-Tours". www.socotra-eco-tours.com. Retrieved 2015-09-02.  ^ a b "The history of Socotra". www.socotraislandadventure.com. Retrieved 2015-09-02.  ^ Lockyer, Sir Norman (1884-01-01). Nature. Nature Publishing Group.  ^ " Socotra
history :: Socotra
Eco-Tours". www.socotra-eco-tours.com.  ^ "aviationweather.gov".  ^ "Default Page". www.socotraproject.org.  ^ "Could Guantánamo's biggest bunch of prisoners be sent to Socotra?". Hadibu, Socotra: Economist magazine. 2014-02-01. Archived from the original on 2014-01-31. Retrieved 2014-02-03. In November a Yemeni newspaper, el-Ule, ran a story about a “new Guantánamo” to be set up on Socotra; a cartoon mixed the island’s dragon-blood tree (pictured above) with the Guantánamo inmates’ orange uniform.  ^ "Default Page". www.socotraproject.org.  ^ Holmes, Oliver (23 June 2010). "Socotra: The Other Galápagos Awaits Tourists". Time. Retrieved 6 July 2013.  ^ Lisa, Banfield. "Past and present human impacts on the biodiversity of Socotra
- Paper" (PDF). http://www.friendsofsoqotra.org.  External link in website= (help) ^ " Socotra
tours".  ^ Alive, Expedition. "Enduro motorcycles expedition to alien planet".  ^ Ghattas, Abir. "Yemen's No Fly Zone: Thousands of Yemenis are Stranded Abroad". Retrieved 8 April 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

Agafonov, Vladimir (2006/07). "Temethel as the Brightest Element of Soqotran Folk Poetry". Folia Orientalia. 42/43: 241–249.  Check date values in: date= (help) Agafonov, Vladimir (2013). Mehazelo – Cinderella of Socotra. ISBN 1482319225.  Biedermann, Zoltán (2006). Soqotra, Geschichte einer christlichen Insel im Indischen Ozean vom Altertum bis zur frühen Neuzeit. Maritime Asia 17 (in German). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3-447-05421-8.  Botting, Douglas (2006) [1958]. Island
of the Dragon's Blood (2nd ed.). ISBN 978-1-904246-21-3.  Burdick, Alan (25 March 2007). "The Wonder Land of Socotra, Yemen". The New York Times.  Casson, Lionel (1989). The Periplus Maris Erythraei. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-04060-5.  Cheung, Catherine; DeVantier, Lyndon (2006). Van Damme, Kay, ed. Socotra: A Natural History of the Islands and their People. Odyssey Books & Guides. ISBN 962-217-770-0.  Doe, D. Brian (1970). Field, Henry; Laird, Edith M., eds. Socotra: An Archaeological Reconnaissance in 1967. Miami: Field Research Projects.  Doe, D. Brian (1992). Socotra: Island
of Tranquility. London: Immel.  Elie, Serge D. (2004). "Hadiboh: From Peripheral Village to Emerging City". Chroniques Yemenites. 12.  Elie, Serge D. (November 2006). "Soqotra: South Arabia's Strategic Gateway and Symbolic Playground". British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. 33 (2): 131–160. doi:10.1080/13530190600953278. ISSN 1353-0194.  Elie, Serge D. (June 2007). The Waning of a Pastoralist Community: An Ethnographic Exploration of Soqotra as a Transitional Social Formation (D.Phil Dissertation thesis). University of Sussex.  Elie, Serge D. (2008). "The Waning of Soqotra's Pastoral Community: Political Incorporation as Social Transformation". Human Organization. 67 (3): 335–345.  Elie, Serge D. (2009). "State-Community Relations in Yemen: Soqotra's Historical Formation as a Sub-National Polity". History and Anthropology. 20 (4): 363–393. doi:10.1080/02757200903166459.  Elie, Serge D. (2010). "Soqotra: The Historical Formation of a Communal Polity". Chroniques Yéménites. 16: 31–55.  Elie, Serge D. (2012). "Fieldwork in Soqotra: The Formation of a Practitioner's Sensibility". Practicing Anthropology. 34 (2): 30–34.  Elie, Serge D. (2012). "Cultural Accommodation to State Incorporation: Language Replacement on Soqotra Island". Journal of Arabian Studies. 2 (1): 39–57. doi:10.1080/21534764.2012.686235.  Miller, A.G. & Morris, M. (2004) Ethnoflora of the Socotra Archipelago. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Naumkin, V. V.; Sedov, A. V. (1993). "Monuments of Socotra". In Boussac, Marie-Françoise; and Salles, Jean-François. Athens, Aden, Arikamedu: Essays on the interrelations between India, Arabia
and the Eastern Mediterranean. Delhi: Manohar. pp. 193–250. ISBN 81-7304-079-6. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link) Schoff, Wilfred H. (1974) [1912]. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (2nd. ed.). New Delhi: Oriental Books Reprint Corporation.  Zhukov, Valery A. (2014). The Results of Research of the Stone Age Sites in the Island
of Socotra
(Yemen) in 2008-2012 (in Russian). Moscow: Triada. ISBN 978-5-89282-591-7. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Socotra.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Socotra.

Governance and Biodiversity
Project, UNDP Yemen, 2008–2013 LA Times photogallery Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh: Soqotra's Misty Future (see page 5 for information on dragons' blood) Global organisation of Friends for Soqotra in any aspect based in Edinburgh, Scotland Audio interview with Socotra
resident Carter, Mike. The land that time forgot The Observer. Sunday April 16, 2006. A Historical Genealogy of Socotra
as an Object of Mythical Speculation, Scientific Research & Development Experiment SCF Organisation An article in T Style Magazine – NYTimes "Suḳuṭra" in the Encyclopaedia of Islam Socotra
Information Project Scishow Socotra
Youtube "15 Pictures Of 'The Most Alien-Looking Place On Earth'" - photo essay Documentary film of the Island
of Socotra. Socotra: The Hidden Land

v t e

World Heritage Sites in Yemen

Historic Town of Zabid Old City of Sana'a Old Walled City of Shibam Socotra

List of World Heritage Sites in Yemen

v t e

Islands of Yemen


Abd al Kuri Darsah Samhah Socotra

Hanish Islands

Zuqar Island Hanish al Kabir Hanish al Ṣaghir

Uninhabited islands

Jabal al-Tair Island Kamaran Perim Zubair Group

Islands of Yemen
at Commons

v t e

Tourist attractions in Yemen

World Heritage Sites


Historic Town of Zabid Old City of Sana'a Old Walled City of Shibam Socotra

Tentative list

Archaeological Site of Marib Historic City of Saada The Historic City of Thula The Madrasa Amiriya of Rada Jibla and its surroundings Jabal Haraz Jabal Bura Balhaf/Burum coastal area The Hawf Area Sharma/Jethmun coastal area

Archaeological sites

Al Hajjarah Awwam Baraqish Baynun Cisterns of Tawila Haram Kaminahu Ma'rib Marib Dam Maṣna'at Māriya Nahom Nashan Nashaq Sana'a Shabwa Shaharah Shibam Sirwah Timna Zabid Zafar


House of Folklore National Museum of Yemen Yemen
Military Museum

Palaces Castles

Aljabowbi Castle Cairo Castle Dar al-Bashair Dar al-Hajar Dar al-Shukr Dar as-Sa'd Fort Al-Ghwayzi Ghumdan Palace Palace of Queen Arwa Citadel of Rada'a Seiyun Palace Sheba Palace

Places of worship

Aidrus Mosque Al-Asha'ir Mosque Al-Bakiriyya Mosque Al-Hadi Mosque Al-Mahdi Mosque Al-Muhdhar Mosque Al-Qalis Church Al Shohada Mosque Al Tawheed Mosque Alansar Mosque Albolaily Mosque Alemaan Mosque Ashrafiya Mosque Barran Temple Great Mosque of Sana'a Grand Synagogue of Aden Hanthel Mosque Jennad Mosque Mudhaffar Mosque Queen Arwa Mosque Saleh Mosque St. Francis of Assisi Church St. Mary Help of Christians Church Tahla Mosque Temple of Awwam

Protected area

Bura Community Protected Area Dhamar Montane Plains Mahjur Traditional Reserve Jabal Bura
Jabal Bura
Valley Forest National Park Ras Isa Marine Park Socotra
Protected Area Zuqur Islands Marine National Park


Amiriya Madrasa Bab al-Yaman Big Ben Aden Sana'a
Turkish Memorial Cemetery Shaharah
Bridge Sira Fortress

v t e

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North Africa

15th century

1415–1640 Ceuta

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1489 Graciosa

16th century

1505–1541 Santa Cruz do Cabo de Gué (Agadir)

1506–1525 Mogador (Essaouira)

1506–1525 Aguz (Souira Guedima)

1506–1769 Mazagan (El Jadida)

1513–1541 Azamor (Azemmour)

1515–1541 São João da Mamora (Mehdya)

1577–1589 Arzila (Asilah)

Sub-Saharan Africa

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1455–1633 Anguim

1462–1975 Cape Verde

1470–1975 São Tomé1

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1474–1778 Annobón

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(São Jorge da Mina)

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1508–15472 Madagascar3

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16th century

1500–1630 Malindi

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1506–1511 Socotra

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17th century

1645–1888 Ziguinchor

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18th century

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19th century

1879–1974 Portuguese Guinea

1885–1974 Portuguese Congo5

1 Part of São Tomé and Príncipe
from 1753. 2 Or 1600. 3 A factory (Anosy Region) and small temporary coastal bases. 4 Part of Portuguese Guinea
Portuguese Guinea
from 1879. 5 Part of Portuguese Angola
Portuguese Angola
from the 1920s.

Middle East [Persian Gulf]

16th century

1506–1615 Gamru (Bandar Abbas)

1507–1643 Sohar

1515–1622 Hormuz (Ormus)

1515–1648 Quriyat

1515–? Qalhat

1515–1650 Muscat

1515?–? Barka

1515–1633? Julfar (Ras al-Khaimah)

1521–1602 Bahrain
(Muharraq • Manama)

1521–1529? Qatif

1521?–1551? Tarut Island

1550–1551 Qatif

1588–1648 Matrah

17th century

1620–? Khor Fakkan

1621?–? As Sib

1621–1622 Qeshm

1623–? Khasab

1623–? Libedia

1624–? Kalba

1624–? Madha

1624–1648 Dibba Al-Hisn

1624?–? Bandar-e Kong

Indian subcontinent

15th century


Laccadive Islands (Lakshadweep)

16th century Portuguese India

 • 1500–1663 Cochim (Kochi)

 • 1501–1663 Cannanore (Kannur)

 • 1502–1658  1659–1661

Quilon (Coulão / Kollam)

 • 1502–1661 Pallipuram (Cochin de Cima)

 • 1507–1657 Negapatam (Nagapatnam)

 • 1510–1961 Goa

 • 1512–1525  1750

Calicut (Kozhikode)

 • 1518–1619 Portuguese Paliacate outpost (Pulicat)

 • 1521–1740 Chaul

  (Portuguese India)

 • 1523–1662 Mylapore

 • 1528–1666

Chittagong (Porto Grande De Bengala)

 • 1531–1571 Chaul

 • 1531–1571 Chalé

 • 1534–1601 Salsette Island

 • 1534–1661 Bombay (Mumbai)

 • 1535 Ponnani

 • 1535–1739 Baçaím (Vasai-Virar)

 • 1536–1662 Cranganore (Kodungallur)

 • 1540–1612 Surat

 • 1548–1658 Tuticorin (Thoothukudi)

 • 1559–1961 Daman and Diu

 • 1568–1659 Mangalore

  (Portuguese India)

 • 1579–1632 Hugli

 • 1598–1610 Masulipatnam (Machilipatnam)

1518–1521 Maldives

1518–1658 Portuguese Ceylon
Portuguese Ceylon
(Sri Lanka)

1558–1573 Maldives

17th century Portuguese India

 • 1687–1749 Mylapore

18th century Portuguese India

 • 1779–1954 Dadra and Nagar Haveli

East Asia and Oceania

16th century

1511–1641 Portuguese Malacca
Portuguese Malacca

1512–1621 Maluku [Indonesia]

 • 1522–1575  Ternate

 • 1576–1605  Ambon

 • 1578–1650  Tidore

1512–1665 Makassar

1557–1999 Macau [China]

1580–1586 Nagasaki [Japan]

17th century

1642–1975 Portuguese Timor
Portuguese Timor
(East Timor)1

19th century Portuguese Macau

 • 1864–1999 Coloane

 • 1851–1999 Taipa

 • 1890–1999 Ilha Verde

20th century Portuguese Macau

 • 1938–1941 Lapa and Montanha (Hengqin)

1 1975 is the year of East Timor's Declaration of Independence and subsequent invasion by Indonesia. In 2002, East Timor's independence was fully recognized.

North America & North Atlantic

15th century [Atlantic islands]

1420 Madeira

1432 Azores

16th century [Canada]

1500–1579? Terra Nova (Newfoundland)

1500–1579? Labrador

1516–1579? Nova Scotia

South America & Antilles

16th century

1500–1822 Brazil

 • 1534–1549  Captaincy Colonies of Brazil

 • 1549–1572  Brazil

 • 1572–1578  Bahia

 • 1572–1578  Rio de Janeiro

 • 1578–1607  Brazil

 • 1621–1815  Brazil

1536–1620 Barbados

17th century

1621–1751 Maranhão

1680–1777 Nova Colónia do Sacramento

18th century

1751–1772 Grão-Pará and Maranhão

1772–1775 Grão-Pará and Rio Negro

1772–1775 Maranhão and Piauí

19th century

1808–1822 Cisplatina

1809–1817 Portuguese Guiana (Amapá)

1822 Upper Peru
Upper Peru

Coats of arms of Portuguese colonies Evolution of the Portuguese Empire Portuguese colonial architecture Portuguese colonialism in Indonesia Portuguese colonization of the Americas Theory of the Portuguese discovery of Australia

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 252799116 N