Shooting a science fiction flick and looking to save some cash on that alien landscape? Ditch the set designers and prop rental fees and head out to the Socotra archipelago of Yemen.
The Socotra islands broke up with the supercontinent Gondwana some 16 million years ago, and they’ve been on their own ever since. This extreme period of isolation, along with the harsh tropical desert climate, pressured Socotra’s native inhabitants into some intense speciation. As much as 37% of Socotra’s flora can’t be found anywhere else, leading some naturalists to describe it as ‘the most alien-looking place on Earth’.
Though if you do decide to stop by with your film crew, please be careful where you step – 30 of Socotra’s endemic plants are listed as endangered.