Natural history series exploring the Galapagos Islands, which lie 1,000 kilometres off the coast of South America.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Galapagos - Galápagos Islands - Netflix
The Galápagos Islands (official name: Archipiélago de Colón, other Spanish name: Las Islas Galápagos, Spanish pronunciation: [las ˈiʱla ɣaˈlapaɣo]), part of the Republic of Ecuador, are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed on either side of the Equator in the Pacific Ocean surrounding the centre of the Western Hemisphere, 906 km (563 mi) west of continental Ecuador. The islands are known for their vast number of endemic species and were studied by Charles Darwin during the second voyage of HMS Beagle, as his observations and collections contributed to the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution by means of natural selection. The Galápagos Islands and their surrounding waters form the Galápagos Province of Ecuador, the Galápagos National Park, and the Galápagos Marine Reserve. The principal language on the islands is Spanish. The islands have a population of slightly over 25,000. The first recorded visit to the islands happened by chance in 1535, when Fray Tomás de Berlanga, the Bishop of Panamá, was surprised with this undiscovered land during a voyage to Peru to arbitrate in a dispute between Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro. De Berlanga eventually returned to the Spanish Empire and described the conditions of the islands and the animals that inhabited them. The group of islands was shown and named in Abraham Ortelius's atlas published in 1570. The first crude map of the islands was made in 1684 by the buccaneer Ambrose Cowley, who named the individual islands after some of his fellow pirates or after British royalty and noblemen. These names were used in the authoritative navigation charts of the islands prepared during the Beagle survey under captain Robert Fitzroy, and in Darwin's popular book The Voyage of the Beagle. The new Republic of Ecuador took the islands from Spanish ownership in 1832, and subsequently gave them official Spanish names. The older names remained in use in English language publications, including Herman Melville's The Encantadas of 1854.
Galapagos - Pre-Columbian era - Netflix
According to a 1952 study by Thor Heyerdahl and Arne Skjølsvold, remains of potsherds and other artifacts from several sites on the islands suggest visitation by South American peoples in pre-Columbian era. The group located an Inca flute and shards from more than 130 pieces of ceramics, which were later identified as pre-Incan. However, no remains of graves, ceremonial vessels and constructions have ever been found, suggesting no permanent settlement occurred before the Spanish arrived in the 16th century. It is not clear who the first visitors to the islands were, but they were probably sailors blown off course or people on hapless fishing boats blown out to sea. Most of them were likely unimpressed by the lack of fresh water on the islands. Whether the Incas ever made it here is disputed; in 1572, Spanish chronicler Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa claimed that Topa Inca Yupanqui, the second Sapa Inca of the Inca Empire had visited the archipelago, but there is little evidence for this, and many experts consider it a far-fetched legend, especially since the Incas were not seafaring people.
Galapagos - References - Netflix