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Galapagos
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Location
    (1535- )
    Located off Ecuador in the Pacific
    On the equator
    Capital: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno
    19 islands
    3,086 square miles
    Discovered by Tomas de Berlanga
    First inhabitant: Patrick Watkins
    Became part of Ecuador (February 12, 1832)
    Charles Darwin arrived aboard the Beagle (September 15, 1835)
    Declared a National Park (July 4, 1959)
    AKA Enchanted Islands
    The entire population could fill a basketball arena.
    Only 4 islands are populated (San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Isabela and Floreana).
    It is located in an active volcano range.
    In National Parks visitors may not touch plants, rocks or animals.
    Visitors are warned not to buy souvenirs made by the natives.
    During the 1600 and 1700s, pirates used the islands to plan their attacks.
    It was used as a prison colony in the mid 1850's, but one prisoner escaped and killed 28 men.
    After WW II Ecuador decided to again make it a penal colony. There were many human right violations and it ended in disaster (1959).
    Charles Darwin did much work on these islands which led to his theory of evolution.
    Scientist called it the 'laboratory of evolution.'
    Biologists come to these islands to study the adaptive nature of birds.
    More than a dozen species evolved here from a common mainland ancestor.
    There are many species found here that are found no where else.
    It is known for diversity in both plants and animals.
    Although the official language is Spanish many also speak English.
    Despite being on the equator they do have a cool season.
    Smoking is prohibited.
    Whales breed in its waters.
    The US used the islands as a base during WW II.
    It is a popular tourist spot.

Credit: Team Annoy


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