When Charles Darwin explored the Galapagos Islands back in 1835, he encountered bizarre creatures found nowhere else on earth. The archipelago’s isolation made them evolve and adapt to the unique conditions of their surroundings. He focused on the finch, but there are plenty of other birds, reptiles and man made curiosities in the Galapagos to fill you with awe today. Come along on a journey as we highlight the 12 weirdest wonders of the Galapagos. The last one is particularly mind-blowing.
1. Blue Footed Boobies
It’s no big surprise how these goofy Galapagos birds got their name. They look like they stepped in a pot of bright blue paint. The blue hue is actually an important part of attracting a mate. Apparently the bluer the feet, the hotter the booby. These birds know how to strut their stuff, as the males perform a clumsy seduction dance to woo their women. The booby gals have it pretty good, though. This is one species where the dad sticks around the help raise the kids.
2. Marine Iguanas
Darwin called them “hideous”, but marine iguanas are fascinating reptiles regardless of their spiky tough-guy looks. They’re the only sea-going lizard on the planet. These cold-blooded creatures seem lazy on land, huddling enmass on dark rocks to bask in the sun. But once they dive in the water, they’re strong and graceful swimmers. The vegetarians survive on algae and seaweed, and can hold their breath underwater for up to half an hour. A special gland between their eyes helps them sneeze out excess salt. They look like little dragons when they snort out this salty mist.