Its islands are few and insignificant, the chief being Sokotra, off the African, and the Laccadives, off the Indian coast.
When the voyage was resumed, the ship touched at Malindi and Sokotra, and reached Goa on May 6th, 1542.
The overthrow of the Wahhabis in 1817 restored Sultan Said to independence; he equipped and armed on Western models a fleet built in Indian ports, and took possession of Sokotra and Zanzibar, as well as the Persian coast north of the straits of Hormuz as far east as Gwadur, while by his liberal policy at home Sohar, Barka and Muscat became prosperous commercial ports.
Between the Seychelles and Sokotra (0° - 9 ° N.) there are great stretches of the ocean floor forming an almost level expanse at a depth of 2800 fathoms. The Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Aden are also very uniform with depths of about 1900 fathoms, while the floor of the Bay of Bengal rises very gradually northwards and is 1000 fathoms deep close up to the Ganges Shelf.
These shells do not retain their individuality at depths greater than 1400 or 1500 fathoms, and in fact pteropod ooze is only found in small patches on the ridges near the Azores, Antilles, Canaries, Sokotra, Nicobar, Fiji and the Paumotu islands, and on the central rise of the South Atlantic between Ascension and Tristan d'Acunha.
SOKOTRA (also spelt Socotra and formerly Socotora), an island in the Indian Ocean belonging to Great Britain.
From the sea Sokotra has an imposing appearance.
There are 67 species of birds known from Sokotra, of which 15 are endemic; of 22 reptiles, 3 genera and 14 species are peculiar; and of the land and fresh-water shells, to whose distribution great importance attaches, 44 species out of 47 are confined to the island.
During the Permian epoch Sokotra may have been a land surface, forming part of the great mass of land which probably existed in this region at that epoch, and gave the wide area for the western migration of life which presently took place, and by which the eastern affinities in Sokotra may be explained.
In early and middle Tertiary times, when the Indian peninsula was an island, and the sea which stretched into Europe washed the base of the Himalayan hills, Sokotra was in great part submerged and the great mass of limestone was deposited; but its higher peaks were still above water, and formed an island, peopled mainly by African species - the plants being the fragmentary remains of the old African flora - but with an admixture of eastern and other Asian forms. Thereafter it gradually rose, undergoing violent volcanic disturbance."
Sokotra thus "again became part of the mainland, though it is likely for only a short period, and during this union the life of the adjacent continent covered its plains and filled its valleys.
Sokotra has claims to be reckoned one of the most ancient incense-supplying countries.
Among the "harbours of incense" exploited by various Pharaohs during some twentyfive centuries it is impossible to believe that the island could be missed by the Egyptian galleys on their way to the "Land of Punt," identified by several writers with Somaliland; nor that, though the roadsteads of the African coast were perhaps oftener frequented, and for other freights besides myrrh and frankincense, the shores of Sokotra were neglected by such ardent explorers as those, for instance, of Queen Hatshepsut of the r8th dynasty.
To the Greeks and Romans Sokotra was known as the isle of Dioscorides; this name, and that by which the island is now known, are usually traced back to a Sanskrit form, Dvipa-Sakhadhara, "the island abode of bliss," which again suggests an identification with the vrjvoc ei)Saiµoves of Agatharchides (§ 103).
As early as the 10th century Sokotra was a haunt of pirates; in the r3th century Abulfeda describes the inhabitants as "Nestorian Christians and pirates" but the island was rather a station of the Indian corsairs who harassed the Arab trade with the Far East.
The Portuguese under Tristao da Cunha and Albuquerque seized Sokotra in 1507 in pursuance of the design to control all the trade routes between Europe and the East, Sokotra being supposed to command the entrance to the Red Sea.
The Portuguese found that Sokotra was held by Arabs from Fartak, but the "natives" (a different race) were Christians, though in sad need of conversion.
In the 10th century Sokotra formed part of the dominions of the sultan of Kishin.
From 1876 onward a small subsidy has been paid to the sultan of Kishin by the authorities at Aden; and in 1886 the sultan concluded a treaty forma;ly placing Sokotra and its dependencies under the protection of Great Britain.
Sokotra is regarded as a dependency of Aden, but native rule is maintained, the local governor or viceroy of the sultan of Kishin being a member of that chief's family, and also styled sultan.
A idler, under the auspices of the Imperial Academy of Sciences of Vienna, visited Sokotra, Abd-el-Kuri and some other islets of the group to investigate their geology and languages.
Of Sokotra, and 53 m.
It is largely arid and there are no permanent streams. Its zoology resembles that of Sokotra, but the fauna includes land shells and scorpions peculiar to Abd-elKuri.
The coral banks which surround Sokotra and The Brothers are united and are not more than 30 fathoms below sea-level; a valley some loo fathoms deep divides them from the bank around Abd-el-Kuri, while between Abd-el-Kuri and Cape Guardafui are depths of over 500 fathoms.
See, for the history of Sokotra, Yule, Marco Polo (1903 ed.) .ii.
Bent, Southern Arabia, Soudan and Sokotra (London, 1900).
Forbes (edited by), The Natural History of Sokotra and Abd-el-Kuri (Liverpool, 1903); F.
Kossmat, Geologie der Inseln Sokotra, Semha and Abd el Kuri (Vienna, 1902); R.
Two groups of islands in the Bay of Bengal, the Andamans and the Nicobars; one group in the Arabian Sea, the Laccadives; and the outlying station of Aden at the mouth of the Red Sea, with Perim, and protectorates over the island of Sokotra, along the southern coast of Arabia and in the Persian Gulf, are all politically included within the Indian empire; while on the coast of the peninsula itself, Portuguese and French settlements break at intervals the continuous line of British territory.
The chief continental islands are Madagascar, Sokotra and Ceylon.
In the deeper parts the bed of the ocean is covered on the west and south by Globigerina ooze except for an elongated patch of red clay extending most of the distance from Sokotra to the Maldives.
After discovering the islands which now bear his name, da Cunha landed in Madagascar, subsequently visiting Mozambique, Brava (where he reduced the Arab power) and Sokotra, which he conquered.
Sokotra lies E.N.E.