The Galapagos archipelago and its immense marine reserve is known as the unique living museum and showcase of evolution. Its geographical location at the confluence of three ocean currents makes it one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world. Ongoing seismic and volcanic activity reflects the processes that formed the islands. These processes, together with the extreme isolation of the islands, led to the development of unusual plant and animal life, such as marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, giant tortoises, huge cacti, endemic trees and the many different subspecies of mockingbirds and finches. Scientists are still faced with the mystery of how such a large diversity of species could develop in a remote location like the Galapagos Islands. Charles Darwin conducted research here in the early 1830s that contributed to his theory of evolution.