History of the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands form an archipelago that includes sixteen islands covering nearly 36,000 square miles. Located in the Pacific Ocean, just 600 miles west of Ecuador, they are home to many unique species that evolved in isolation for millions of years.

Undisturbed by humans until the sixteenth century, interest in the Galapagos Islands has ranged from purely mythical to wholly scientific. For many, the Galapagos evoke images of Darwin and his famous finches, for it was here that he made the discoveries that would lead to his revolutionary theory of natural selection.

From pirates, to whalers, to tourists, the Galapagos Islands have attracted a myriad of visitors over the past few centuries. And while human involvement has only increased, so have conservation efforts to ensure its future preservation.

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