Galapagos Island Essay

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As a living laboratory Galapagos island have a rich scientific history! And today I am going to tell you the location, its brief history and what Charles Darwin’s discoveries on Galapagos island. The Galapagos Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles west of Ecuador, which is on the western coast of South America. Their first recorded discovery was on March 10, 1535, by Fray Tomas de Berlanga, who happened upon them accidentally while sailing from Panama to Peru. Some historians believe the islands were visited and used by groups of Incas as early as a century prior to de Berlanga's discovery, but this has never been proven. In 1570, mapmaker Abraham Ortelius plotted the Galapagos Islands, calling them the Isolas de Galapagos, or "Islands of the Tortoises," based on sailors' descriptions of the many tortoises inhabiting the islands. By the 17th century, the Galapagos Islands became a popular hideout for British buccaneers who pirated Spanish ships and looted Spanish settlements in Central and South America. These buccaneers and British whalers used the islands as a source of food on long journeys. The islands, still uninhabited on a permanent basis by man and, hence, shrouded in mystery, soon came to be known as the Enchanted Islands because they disappeared into the fog at certain times of year and could not be seen by passing ships. In fact, some 17th-century Spaniards claimed that the Galapagos Islands were not islands at all, but mere shadows. But by the 18th century, British (and later, early American) whalers and sealers began to visit the islands regularly as part of an effort to set up an industry center in the Pacific Ocean. So heavy was the activity on the islands at this time that, in 1800, a makeshift "post office" -- consisting of little more than a marked barrel -- was established on Floreana. This post office still exists
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