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Anyone who loves the world of Pandora will have been blown away by the second film – Avatar: Way of the Water.
Once again the directors dazzled audiences with incredible panoramas.
The planet Pandora is filled with strange plants, bioluminescent forests and reefs and of course out-of-this-world animals (literally).
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If you’ve seen the film – whether you loved it or hated it – there’s no doubt that you wished you could be transported to experience the fantastic scenery for yourself.
However, it seems that the directors and show designers didn’t always come up with the plants and animals on Pandora from nothing.
Places on our very own blue planet inspired them…
One such place is Socotra Island off the coast of the Republic of Yemen in the Indian Ocean.
The unusual island is so bizarre to look at that you could easily imagine it was elsewhere in the universe – and for good reason.
Socotra is an ecological paradise with almost 700 species of plant and animal that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth.
While Socotra is not currently safe to travel to it's fascinating to know such a place exists – and it's believed the unusual flora inspired the Avatar setting.
The island is sometimes dubbed the “most alien looking place” on the planet in part due to the dragon’s blood trees which pop up in its mountains and valleys.
The trees' odd shape makes them look like an umbrella and when pictured together it’s easy to imagine them being the inspiration for much of the plant life on Pandora.
Plus, the trees get their striking name from the red sap they produce which looks like blood seeping from the bark.
On Socotra there are also cucumber trees which have thick, squat trunks with barely any foliage at the top.
In terms of animals scores of bats and bright blue butterflies cover the island.
As well as having striking valleys, unusual red rock formations, sand dunes and the Hajhir Mountains mountains the island has an immaculate coast.
Looking very much like the Way of the Water, Socotra boasts bright white beaches unmarred by hotels, umbrellas or other tourist attractions.
The ocean itself is a fantastic bright turquoise colour which darkens to a warm cobalt blue as you look further out.
Dolphins can even be spotted swimming in the water out from the coastal plains.
Caves cover the island too with fascinating rock formations and towering stalagmites within the tunnels.
In terms of humans, there are around 50,000 inhabitants in several towns and cities.
Hopefully one day the incredible island will be safe to explore once again.
While Socotra may look incredible it is not currently advised that tourists travel to the region due to current tensions in the region.
You should avoid travelling to any part of Yemen according to gov.uk.
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