Galápagos Islands

Galápagos Islands for UPSC IAS
  • The Galápagos Islands are a group of islands, or archipelago, in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
  • There are thirteen major islands and a handful of smaller islands that make up the Galápagos archipelago.
  • They are part of the country of Ecuador, in South America. They lie about 966 kilometres (600 miles) off of the Ecuadorian coast.
  • The archipelago is distributed on either side of the Equator with an underwater wildlife spectacle with abundant life.
  • It is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978.
  • Mount Azul at 5,541 feet is the highest point of the Galapagos Islands.
  • The principal language on the islands is Spanish.
  • The islands have a population of slightly over 25,000.

Geology of the Galápagos Islands

  • It begins at the sea floor and emerges above sea level where biological processes continue.
  • Three major tectonic plates Nazca, Cocos and Pacific meet at the basis of the ocean, which is of significant geological interest.
  • In comparison with most oceanic archipelagos, the Galapagos are very young.
    • The largest and youngest islands, Isabela and Fernandina, with less than one million years of existence, and
    • The oldest islands, Española and San Cristóbal are somewhere between three to five million years.
  • They are a volcanic archipelago located at the confluence of three ocean currents.
    • These currents are – Humboldt Current, Panama Flow and Cromwell Current.

Latest News

  • 20 April 2023:
    • Recently, a scientific expedition has discovered a previously unknown coral reef with abundant marine life off Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands.


  1. The Hindu

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