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The most remote location on Earth – thousands of kilometres without people, animals or plants

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Posted April 23, 2018

Imagine a situation – a mythical creature (some sort of a ghost) appears in front of you and tells you that he is teleporting you to the most remote location on Earth. Where do you think you would find yourself? North Pole? Maybe South Pole? Or maybe somewhere in the middle of a desert? Neither of these facts is correct – you would actually be relocated to a place called Point Nemo.

Point Nemo, oceanic pole of inaccessibility, is the place that is farthest from land. Image credit: Timwi via Wikimedia

The truth is that North Pole is not that far from people. In fact, the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world is Alert in Canada, and it is only 817 kilometres away from the North Pole. And deserts are not that big either. In fact, even Sahara desert sometimes sees travellers and has little towns pretty close by. And then there is the South Pole, which is in Antarctica – the southernmost continent in the world, which has several big research facilities and even somewhat regular flights.

Of course, you wouldn’t want to find yourself lost and hopeless in any of these places, but the Point Nemo is much more remote. It is a location in the South Pacific Ocean 2,688 km away from the nearest lands – it is the farthest distance you can go from a land on Earth. It is somewhere between Antarctica, South America and Tasmania (48°52.6′S 123°23.6′W, to be exact) and it is actually scary how remote it is – if you find yourself lost at sea in there, you’re pretty much destined to die.

Because of where the Point Nemo is in relation with surrounding states, ships rarely pass nearby. Of course, sometimes someone may be going to Antarctica, maybe a cargo ship will pass occasionally, or maybe even some military ships can patrol in the area. But that is an extremely rare occurrence. In fact, if that mythical creature teleports you there, it is very likely that the closest people to you would be above you. However, planes rarely fly in that area too, but the International Space Station sometimes does pass over the Point Nemo. And if it does, the closest people to you would be around 400 km above you. You shouldn’t expect any help from them though.

And what about nature? Are there any animals and plants? Well, pretty much no, because of the location of the Point Nemo within the South Pacific Gyre, very little nutrients are in the area. There is nothing to eat for plants and, therefore, there is nothing to eat for fish. That location is that remote.

However, the bizarre remoteness of the Point Nemo has its advantages. This location has been named spacecraft cemetery, because it is so empty that a lot of decommissioned satellites, space stations, and other spacecraft have been sent there. When space agencies are calculating the trajectory of re-entry of decommissioned spacecraft, they are always trying to direct it into places where the chances of causing damage to people or property would be minimal. And in this regard, the Point Nemo is as good of a place for spacecraft cemetery as you can find.

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