In 1831 Charles Darwin sailed in HMS Beagle on an expedition which would take him to the Galapagos Islands. On arrival he was so impressed by the animal life that the islands inspired many of his ideas on evolution, in particular his monumental work The Origin of Species.
Here he had proof for his views on natural selection. In front of his eyes were albatross and cormorant that could not fly, and giant land tortoises weighing over 500 pounds and considered among the oldest living creatures on earth.
There were also such extra-ordinary curiosities as four-eyed fish and tame finches which would use sticks as tools to obtain food. Also, Darwin discovered a species of penguin unlike any others and large spiny iguanas, the only lizards that take to water.
The Galapagos Islands are in the Pacific Ocean, off the coasts of Ecuador and Peru, in South America.