9Dragon blood tree, Socotra

Socotra is home to the eerie, prehistoric-looking dragon blood trees, sometimes simply named ‘Socotra dragon trees’. Their upturned umbrella design ensures that every drop of water from dew or rare rain trickles down to the central trunk and eventually to the roots.  

The tree takes its name from the disturbingly blood-red resin that exudes from the bark if it is cut or damaged – it’s a defense against pests and disease and was regarded in 17th century Europe as a magical cure-all. More recently, the resin has been used in breath fresheners and love potions.