A Brief History of the Galapagos Islands

“The natural history of these islands is eminently curious, and well deserves attention.” - Charles Darwin, in the first edition of his Journal of Researches

The Galapagos were supposedly initially discovered by the Bishop of Panama, who drifted off path enroute to Peru. Back before science was hard-hitting and Christianity was all-prevailing, this Bishop of Panama thought of the islands as “hell on Earth.” Not only were they located in the exact middle and on a sort of a geological conveyor belt (constantly moving around), but the islands had lava, giant dragons coming up out of the sea, and horrific giant tortoises and giant, hideous iguanas. For a while, the Bishop of Panama had the public believing that this really was hell on Earth.

A while later, the nomads of the sea, Pirates, discovered the Galapagos; adoring the islands for their beauty, uniqueness, and isolation, they began to call them “Las Encantadas” or, “The Enchanted.”

The islands didn’t quite become famous, however, until 1835 when a young, map-making lad named Charles Darwin stopped by for a quick visit. What he observed at the islands changed history forever. His observations of the vastness of different types of species, all located together in one small archipelago, encouraged his research, which eventually led up to the Theory of Evolution. So in a sense, perhaps it really was hell on Earth, for it led up to the fall of Christianity for many skeptics.