Cocos Island National Park is an uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. It belongs politically to the province of Puntarenas of the Central American country Costa Rica. The island has become popular, especially with numerous publications on treasures that pirates like William Dampier , Benito Bonito , or Henry Morgan said to have hidden there. It was in the past several expeditions , which ransacked the entire island, but so far no greater treasure known. The more treasure hunting is prohibited, the island is a nature reserve since 1978.
The predominantly volcanic existing rock island located 494 km off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica on the so-called coconut back (Cocos Ridge), a 1000 km long and 250 to 500 km wide submarine structure, commonly referred to as trace of the Galápagos hotspot is interpreted. After the island is the coconut coir board named on the Caribbean plate rests. In this tectonically unstable zone, it is not too rare earthquake and tsunamis . The coconut island is shaped roughly rectangular, 7.49 km long, up to 4.61 km wide and covers an area of 23.85 km². The highest peak of Cerro Iglesias is with 634 meters to the west.
Most of the approximately 24 km coastline consists of steep cliffs that tower up to 200 m from the sea. Only in some places narrow beaches and coves are formed. In the north, two larger bays allow access to: Chatham Bay (Bahía Chatham) and Wafer Bay (Bahía Wafer), each of which lead into the interior of the island wide valleys. The frequent rains have created numerous rivers, which often lead directly to spectacular coastal waterfalls to the sea. Off the southern coast of Cocos Island, the small islands and Isla Muela Bayo Alcyone, in the east and north Isla Isla Conico Manuelita. There are also several offshore rocks that make driving dangerous, because they are partly under water. The surrounding reef is missing, a strong surge reached the island immediately.
The Cocos Island lies in the tropical climate and the frequent and heavy rainfall conducive to growing lush vegetation. The average annual rainfall is 1930 mm, almost four times as much as a year in Leipzig goes down. The annual average temperature hovers around 26 ° C, differ only slightly each month.
The island is now covered with a dense rain forest, but are coconut trees in comparison to other tropical Pacific islands are quite rare. Was 17 to break in the vegetation since the Century has brought about is a mystery. The British botanist William Botting Hemsley was felt buccaneers and whalers were the palm-like, in order to harvest the coconuts more easily. However, it seems doubtful whether an occasional visitor or the brief occupation of the island 1888-1903 with only a few people such an intervention can have devastating effects in the vegetation.
The present interior of the island flora consists mainly of species with those of the neighboring American continent related, but there are numerous endemic species . What is striking is the absence of the otherwise on the coasts of Central America frequent mangrove . The central beach areas have beach winds ( Ipomoea pes-caprae ) conquered. It is clear trees close with Hibiscus tiliaceus and balsam apple ( Clusia rosea ) on.
The lush, almost impenetrable rain forests of the plateau is made up of various Ficus species , Brosimum guianense , ant trees ( Cecropia ) and balsa trees ( Ochroma ) together, a dense tangle of epiphytes and vines covered. As growing bushy edge and lower plants are endemic Eugenia pacifica , the soap bush ( Clidemia hirta ), and Miconia dodecandra before. In shady, moist columns grow ferns, including mainly sword fern ( Nephrolepis ).