June 5, 2012
Why are the waters around the Galapagos Islands so rich with marine life? It’s because the islands are in a very special spot. Oceanographically speaking, they at the intersection of five major ocean currents. Along with the equatorial surface weather, these currents help dictate the islands’ climate and their unique ecology, both above and below the water.
Ever since man has been coming to the Galapagos, we’ve been struck by how mild the climate is for being right on the equator. Charles Darwin wrote how surprisingly un-tropical the weather was, stating, “[It] is far from being excessively hot…excepting during one short season, very little rain falls, and even then it is irregular.” Being a genius, he also pinpointed the main reason, “[T]his seems chiefly caused by the singularly low temperature of the surrounding water, brought here by the great southern Polar current.”