Daniel Kordan, a Russian landscape photographer, is skilled at finding unique environments all around the world and capturing their incredible features. Daniel recently took us on another amazing journey to Socotra Island, where he procured even more beautiful photographs.
The remote island is located between the Guardafui Channel and the Arabian Sea and is known as one of the world’s most biodiverse locations. The strange landscape is home to a variety of creatures that do not exist anywhere else on Earth. UNESCO has designated Socorra as having exceptional significance to the horn of Africa’s biodiversity hotspot, as well as one of the world’s most diverse and distinctive islands.
There are several locations to explore in Socorra. However, in this series, Kordan focuses mostly on dracaena cinnabari – dragon blood tree. This type of Tree is one of the most unique trees in the world. It has a number of unusual features, including its dragon-like appearance, blood-red sap, and resistance to drought. It’s native to the island of Socotra off the coast of Yemen. Its scientific name is Dracaena cinnabari. This evergreen species gets its name from the dark crimson resin that flows from it – dragon blood. It typically grows to be around 30-48 feet tall, with a thick trunk and branches covered in small white scales.
Over time, the sap from the Dragon Blood Tree has oxidized and turned a deep red color. It is also very sticky and can be used to make varnish or glue. Scientists think that this might be due to its location on top of a mountain where it gets more sun exposure than other trees do. There is still so much we don’t know about the Dragon Blood Tree and other species on the island of Socotra. Most of them are found nowhere else in the world!
Kordan’s pictures, which capture the creatures at dawn, golden hour, and under a star-illuminated sky, frame this distinct species on earth. This otherworldly characteristic is linked to local mythology by the deep red sap that leaks out of its trunk and stains the ground.
Here are some of Kordan’s incredible photographs from his Socorra excursion.