If you were to spin a globe and instantly transport to the place where you drop your finger, you better hope your finger doesn’t land on one of the locations listed below. Without equipment, provisions and friends, you won’t survive for long at these remote destinations. You’ll certainly have trouble flagging down a ride or finding help, and there’s no use searching the skies for Wi-Fi. These are the most remote locations on earth.
Photo Credit: preston.rhea / Flickr.com
Dzoosotoyn Elisen Desert, China
What, never heard of it? You’re not alone. Located near the border of Kazakhstan in the northwest corner of China, the Dzoosotoyn Elisen Deserts (also known as the Gurbantunggut Desert) is the place on earth farthest from any ocean. Cartographer types call this the most remote of all “continental poles of inaccessibility.” It is, indeed, remote, located 1,644 miles from the nearest coastline. Want a good idea of what goes down at this extreme location? Check out the photos from Richard and Nicholas Crane’s 1986 cycling journey to this otherworldly locale. It’s probably the closest you’ll ever get to the real thing.
Photo Credit: ilovegreenland / Flickr.com
Greenland is a place at the margins of the world. Is it part of North America, or Europe? Actually, it is part of North America officially, but it belongs within the Kingdom of Denmark. Is it truly “green” or covered in ice and snow? Ironically enough, more and more, it really is becoming green,according to the Wall Street Journal. Do people ever go there? Rarely. Greenland is the least densely populated country in the world. Ittoqqortoormiit is one of the few places on the earth’s largest island where people regularly dwell. We’d tell you some other town in Greenland is the last place on the map, but frankly, those towns don’t exist and those places don’t have names. So take our word for it: Ittoqqortoormiit, a small whaling town on the east coast, is one of the last places on the map.
Photo Credit: brian.gratwicke / Flickr.com
Tristan da Cunha
Depending upon how you get your kicks, this chain of volcanic islands is either a paradise or a place where nightmares are made. Tristan da Cunha is the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, located smack-dab in the middle of the south Atlantic, 1,750 miles west of South Africa and 2,088 miles away from the coast of Brazil. According to the most recent reliable count, 275 people live on Tristan da Cunha. Zero people live on some of the neighboring “inaccessible” islands within the archipelago. Maybe you could be the first. You’ll have no excuse to starve: Tristan da Cunha’s spiny rock lobster is famous for being the most delicious in the world.
Photo Credit: Jo Simon / Flickr.com
Think Mt. Everest is the highest point on earth? Think again, Tenzig. Everest is just the highest point above sea level. Chimborazo, a 20,702 ft. volcano in Ecuador, juts into space farther than any peak on earth. That’s because Chimborazo sits upon earth’s equatorial bulge, a geological feature that pushes the peak farther from earth’s molten core than any other point on the planet. It’s totally extreme up there at Chimborazo, with glaciers covering the summit, alpacas grazing along its ridges and the wreckage of doomed passenger turboprops smashed into its sides. You can worry about getting lost, starving or getting altitude sickness on the mountain. Just don’t worry about flowing magma. Chimborazo hasn’t erupted since about 550 AD.
Photo Credit: preston.rhea / Flickr.com
The Tibetan Plateau
In 2009, New Scientist conducted a study in search of the most remote place on earth. Among its findings, the study concluded that less than 10% of the world’s territories is farther than 48 hours of travel (not including air travel) from the nearest city. Our Earth is becoming increasingly civilized. Still, some regions are stuck in a deep freeze. More frozen than the rest are The Himalayas. According to the study, there are certain places in the Tibetan plateau where even today it would take 3 weeks to travel via foot and automobile to a civilization center with 50,000 or more inhabitants, in this case Lhasa or Korla. The Tibetan Plateau’s towering peaks and unpaveable passes should keep the region remote for many years to come. If only we could say the same for some of earth’s other remote locations.
In the winter, there are just 1,000 more humans on the continent, which is nearly twice the size of Australia. Imagine wandering the uninhabited landmass, nothing but never-ending ice, howling winds and, yes, penguins (polar bears are endemic in the northern polar region, penguins down south). Antarctica is undoubtedly the most inhospitable “place” on earth. The North Pole is not exactly a “place;” there is no landmass there, just shifting ice floes and polar bears. Antarctica is also the driest, windiest and coldest place on earth. Don’t show up there unprepared.