What is Galapagos Islands?
White people discovered the Galápagos Islands in 1535 when a Spanish ship came upon them after being blown off course by a storm… [T]he Spaniards found…a sailor’s nightmare where the bits of land were mockeries, without safe anchorages or shade or sweet water or dangling fruit, or human beings of any kind… They did not claim the islands for Spain, any more than they would have claimed hell for Spain. And for three full centuries after …, no other nation wished to own [the archipelago]. But then, in 1832, one of the smallest and poorest countries on the planet, which was Ecuador, asked the peoples of the world to share this opinion with them: that the islands were part of Ecuador. No one objected… It was as though Ecuador, in a spasm of imperialistic dementia, had annexed to its territory a passing cloud of asteroids. But then young Charles Darwin, only three years later, began to persuade people that the often freakish plants and animals which had found ways to survive on the islands, made them extremely valuable…
(Kurt Vonnegut, 1985, Galápagos)
And the rest is history.