All islands in the Galapagos Archipelago began life as lava that erupted from the numerous volcanoes which have formed as a result of the Galapagos hotspot. Once erupted, large lava flows would extend from all sides of a volcanic peak. The lava cactus is one of the first species to colonize fresh lava flows. The lava cactus, with its short, spiny, cylindrical spikes, is a leafless clump-forming species. Puerto Egas, Santiago Island, Galapagos, Ecuador. December 2014.