Socotra Island:-The Land of the Dragon Blood Tree (Video Included)

The Dragon blood tree is very unique and strange in appearance.
This tree is named dragon blood because of its dark red resin. The tree produces berries that contain seeds, when these berries are ripe they are orange in colour. The berries exude a deep red resin, known as dragon’s blood. The fruit takes about 5 months before it is completely ripe. This tree also flowers which grow at the end of the branches, they are white and in a cluster.

There are other species of trees that have some red resin, but the Dragon Blood Tree is known as the “true” dragon’s blood. This resin was used for a variety of things in History, and is still used in some places today. Main uses being dye, varnish, lipstick, and incense. In Ancient History it was very highly prized. There is a well known dragon’s blood resin produced in Indonesia, but this comes from the unripe fruit of the rattan, and is totally different from the “true” dragon’s blood.

 The Dragon Blood Tree is native to Socotra, the Island is part of the Republic of Yemen. Socotra is 240kilometres (150 miles) east of the Horn of Africa and 380 kilometres (240 Miles) south of the Arabian Peninsula.  The Island is about 130km (80miles) long.

There is a lot of Ancient History associated with this Island which I think is really fascinating,  the Island was mentioned in “The Travels of Marco Polo,” there was also some stone tools found on the Island, there is way too much History for me to go into, but for those that are interested have a look here in Wikipedia for all the information.

Socotra is unique in many different ways, a lot of the plant life on this Island is not found anywhere else in the world, as well as 90% of its reptiles. There are 192 species of birds, as well as numerous different species of fish, crab and lobster. The Island was listed as a World Natural Heritage site in July 2008. It was recognised by UNESCO, and supported by the European Union.

All the photo’s above are from Peter Franc’s personal photo collection of Socotra, Peter was kind enough to give me permission to use the photo’s in my blog. There are some fantastic photo’s there of this Island as well as larger versions of the photo’s above, it is well worth having a look at them. Peter Franc’s Socotra Island Photo’s.

Peter was also kind enough to give me permission to use his video that he took of Socotra Island as well.
After many years of wanting to visit, I made it in February 2010. It was incredible to say the least – mystical, beautiful and diverse. It had a deep, profound impact on me.
To share some of this experience, here’s a video of my time there. I’ll also be releasing a book of photographs and stories – stay tuned for details. Peter Franc.

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15 Responses to Socotra Island:-The Land of the Dragon Blood Tree (Video Included)

  1. Sue says:

    I thought I would have a quick look at your blog on the way to work, what an unusual Island this seems to be. I have never heard of it before. I think the dragon blood tree is really on it’s own, it looks like a huge umbrella. I would love to read the history of the Island, and may do so in my lunch break.
    Really great photo’s, and the video is fantastic. Enjoyed this post immensely.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Sue,
      It is a very fascinating place, and the history is well worth the read if you have the time.
      Glad you liked the post, and I totally agree with you about the photo’s and video. (Don’t work too hard) 🙂

  2. Jill says:

    The landscape in the first picture and on the video, with the dragon blood trees is unbelievable, it looks very dry and rocky where the trees are growing, that sort of landscape is not something that you see everyday. I wonder why there are species of plants on this Island that isn’t found anywhere else?

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Jill,
      A very different type of landscape, I agree, I love the look of the trees, they have always fascinated me, how there are no branches “out of order” so to speak. I really don’t know why there are so many different species of plants on Socotra, but it would be interesting to find out.

  3. WOW! Amazing tree, island, photos, video! Thanks for sharing. Did I say “WOW” already?

  4. Pingback: Yea, man, I’d rather be blogging here « Big Happy Nothing

  5. travelrat says:

    What a great video! I’d love to visit sometime!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi travelrat,
      I also think this would be a great place to go and see, so different than the norm. The plant life and animal life I think would be very interesting indeed.

  6. Barbara Rodgers says:

    What an amazing glimpse into another world right here on our planet! I have never seen a red dragonfly before… So many wonders… I’m here from AA’s blog. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Barbara,
      It is like another world, there are so many different species on this Island that just isn’t found anywhere else.
      Thank You very much for visiting and your comment.

  7. helena says:

    Do you know how old these trees are?
    Thank you
    please e-mail me:

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi helena,
      The age of the dragon blood trees are still being debated today. However there is a good explanation of the age here at this website have a look at the column of the right for the explantions on how they are trying to determine the age of the trees.
      I have removed your e-mail, as it is never a good idea to have your e-mail address out in the open, mainly because of spam etc.
      Thank You for visiting and your comment.

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