Galapagos Islands - UNESCO World Heritage Centre
Situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the South American continent, these 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique living museum and showcase of evolution. Located at the confluence of three ocean currents, the Galapagos are a melting pot of marine species. Ongoing seismic and volcanic activity reflects the processes that formed the islands.
These processes, together with the extreme isolation of the islands, led to the development of unusual animal life – such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise and the many types of finch – that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection following his visit in 1835.