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Islands

Islands

 

Some people make no compromises when it comes to vacations, honeymoons or even anniversaries. It’s quite a well-known fact that Islands, be they the romantic atolls of Fiji or the adventurous islands of Cuba, are few of the top choices to indulge in. If you’re one of those people whose favourite memory is enjoying the sharp taste of good champagne as you watched the sun come up from your bungalow terrace overlooking the turquoise sea and sandy white beaches, this article is not for you.

fiji hammock

You may have been fooled by the title, and not exactly your fault, but this article is for the woeful wandering spirits who have only dreamed about walking the sandy grounds where Beyoncé once walked or pretending to be less chiselled, less poetically tanned, and much less athletic Bear Grills with a weaker constitution to boot on isolated pieces of land.

So why do islands hold so much fascination and wonder? One bright sunny day a man by the name of Charles Darwin went on his merry way to visit the Galapagos Islands, strange assumption considering he was from the UK, and decided that Islands are ‘special’ and have a unique impact on the evolution of the native species as Charles Darwin was wont to do.

Galapogos blue footed birds

The idea of Islands being unique in biogeography and ecology became popular in the 1960s, until in 2005 a group of ecologists called bull and said that mainland areas can have just as many uniquely evolved species as islands and so their claim to fame is crap. However, in a new study, an ecologist from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom Adam Algar and his nature loving buddies decided to measure just how special islands are by using species turnover rates. They released a specific species of frogs and lizards in controlled environments of mainland and islands and watched them, um, breed. For science. They were able to calculate species turnover and hence the difference in biodiversity by analysing the uniqueness of the evolved species that were left to go frolicking about amongst themselves in their respective environment. They concluded that the species of frogs and lizards had a higher rate of species turnover in Islands rather than mainland areas.

Mahe Island birds

For the Neanderthals that share this author’s IQ; when you leave animals to their own devices on islands, they are more likely to develop into more unique species as compared to mainland areas. Also, science likes to watch animals reproduce, go figure.

The point of the entire barely coherent try-hard scientific word vomit that you just endured in the previous paragraph is that science has proved that Islands are awesome. And it doesn’t even stop there. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is a system of 3000 reefs and 900 coral Islands, making it the largest living structure on earth, considering coral reefs are in fact invertebrate animals.

Great Barrier Reef

Izu Islands in Japan are basically a giant governmental project that involves human subjects. The air, which we lovingly know to contain lots of oxygen for our pleasure, does not share the same respect for human life in Izu Islands and, due to a series of volcanic incidents, pumps sulphur in the air while cackling manically in the background. And, ok, granted that doesn’t really sound awesome and it probably isn’t, but this is what uniforms look like;

izu islands

The Deira Island in Dubai is a group of, not one, not two, but a group of few of the largest man made islands in the world.

Diera-Islands

There are many more wonders of nature that need to be explored, whether your endgame is to decompress, experience the adrenalin high of your life or seduce your partner. Islands just happen to provide the best opportunities for said tasks.


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