Masirah Island.

Masirah (مصيرة) is an Indian Ocean island off the east coast of Oman which is 95 km long and approximately 12 to 14 km wide. I know because I ran it as part of a ten man relay team on the 27th April 1990. I think this was the first time anyone was mad enough to do it! We followed a track that ran very close to the sea for most of the route, making the whole run more than 160kms……

The rugged terrain of the island and surrounding coastline has led to the appearance of many wrecks.

There is a quite  famous shell called “Acteon Eloiseae” which is found on one beach area of the island only – a place called Sur Masirah which is approximately half way down the west side .

It was first identified by Dr Bosch and his wife Eloise; unfortunately it has become rather a desired shell by visitors, some of whom are not particular about conservancy.

Four species of turtle use Masirah’s beaches for nesting, with the loggerhead turtle population being the most important of these, and probably the most important nesting area in the entire world.

The birdlife of Masirah is mainly made up of species from the Arabian Peninsula, but it is also a haven for some migratory species. Located at the crossroads of some important migration routes, Masirah can attract birds from India, Pakistan, Africa and wintering birds from as far north as Siberia.

Archaeological discoveries on the island indicate habitation going back at least four thousand years. Areas for the production of copper in the prehistoric period have been found; with sites dated to the second millennium, first millennium and probably the Late Iron Age.

Shell middens and flint artefacts used for scraping the shells can be found at a number of sites.

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