In the mid-1800s, the Galapagos Islands served as Charles Darwin's playground, a volcanic archipelago where he famously worked on his theories of evolution and natural selection. But who actually discovered the islands? Why didn't any country claim them for more than 200 years? And is ecotourism hurting or helping these mysterious islands? This volume explores the history, science, and culture of the Galapagos Islands. A Preface, Introduction, Chronology, and Galapagos at a Glance primer introduce readers to the islands that are so famously associated with Charles Darwin. Twelve thematic essays allow readers to explore such topics as evolution, the geology of the islands, invasive species, and tourism in depth. Topical entries follow, covering key individuals and organizations as well as other important concepts and ideas. Thirteen primary document excerpts allow readers to study firsthand accounts from explorers and visitors to the islands. Appendices, a glossary, a bibliography, and sidebars round out the text. Students of history, geography, and science will find this volume informative, while general readers will be intrigued to learn about these unique islands.