Galapagos Islands Facts
- The Galapagos Islands are a largely pristine archipelago of volcanic islands and a rather incredible marvel of geology. This site also remains considered of vast ecological importance and significance.
- In fact, the larger islands and the numerous smaller bodies comprising the archipelago in the surrounding region form one of the provinces of Ecuador.
- The largest single island’s name is Isabela and contains approximately 75% of the total area of the entire remarkable archipelago.
- The studies of this breathtaking location by Charles Darwin played a pivotal role in the development of his theory of evolution.
Galapagos Islands Physical Description
The astonishing Galapagos Islands consists of 18 primary islands, 3 smaller islands and 107 rocks and islets. Together, the archipelago totals 3,040 sq mi (7,880 sq km) in total area.
This island chain formed through volcanic activity, like many in the immediate area. Studies indicate that this process occurred over a period of roughly 2o million years.
Many of the individual islands and islets serve as home to one or more volcanoes. Some of these remain active even today, though none have erupted violently in modern times.
However, two of the islands, Fernandina and Isabela, are still growing through slow volcanic processes.
Galapagos Islands Location and Environmental Importance
Only 5 of the islands have a population, totaling around 25,000 people. None of these constitute a native population, however. The Galapagos Islands are also one of those few places on earth without true indigenous people.
Interestingly, the archipelago is famous for its large number of indigenous plant and animal species.
Also, a total of 27,000 sq miles (70,000 sq km) of the surrounding ocean is a marine reserve, and a National Park.