World Heritage Site: Galápagos Islands

About World Heritage Site: Galápagos Islands

Site: Galápagos Islands

Location: Ecuador

Year Designated: 1978

Category: Natural

Reason: This “living laboratory” of evolution helped to inspire Charles Darwin 175 years ago and continues to offer a unique opportunity to explore a pristine natural ecosystem. 

The Galápagos Islands are located 620 miles (1,000 kilometres) from the South American mainland but a world apart from anywhere else on Earth. The archipelago and its surrounding waters, located where three ocean currents converge, are famed for the unique animal species that piqued the interest of Charles Darwin in 1835. Decades later Darwin drew on his experiences here when penning his landmark theory of evolution by natural selection.

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