Technology is building our planet all 197 million square miles of it seem smaller every day. We can use digital underwater maps to explore the Great Barrier Reef, drones to wing over pods of Belugas in the Arctic, and high-resolution spacecraft footage to explore virtually every place on Earth.
It can be hard to imagine there are still places on Earth where most human feet have never stepped, remote wild worlds we’ve never seen with our own eyes. But they do exist, and they’re pretty darn magical . strong> Here are just a few.
1. McMurdo Station, a remote scientific outpost in Antarctica.
Aside from scientists , not a lot of mammals make their home in Antarctica. There are plenty of reasons for this.
First, its located at the South Pole in the middle of a world park where no country is allowed to claim owned, build villages, or extract assets. Second, it can get highly cold. Like, -5 8 degrees Fahrenheit( -5 0 degrees Celsius) cold. That’s right. 58 degrees BELOW ZERO.
McMurdo Station is accessible via an airstrip in the summertime, and about 1,000 personnel from around the world job and lives there. Before winter placeds in, almost all of them will leave. At the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, one occupant very famously had to self-administer chemotherapy medicines to herself after she detected “shes had” breast cancer since there was no other doctor on site all winter.
2. Fewer than 10 people on Earth know where to find the worlds oldest tree.
For hundreds of years, a solitary Acacia tree called Tnr grew in the middle of the Sahara desert. It was the most isolated tree in “the worlds”, with roots stretching 118 feet below the surface. That is, until 1973, when a drunk truck driver plowed into it and killed it . strong>
That sad narrative working together with the human rights predilection to want to touch and take selfies with everything cool means it’s not surprising that biologists have decided to keep the locating of the worlds oldest remaining tree a closely-guarded secret.
Heres what we do know: Methuselah is a bristlecone pine tree situated somewhere in Californias White Mountain. Scientists have dated it at about 5,000 times, necessitating it started developing before the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids . strong> Another tree, Prometheus, was discovered in 1964 and may have been even older than Methuselah. Except that was only detected after research scientists cut it down.
Human: We cant be trusted with anything .
3. Merely three people have ever been inside the Mariana Trench, and one of them is James Cameron, because of course it is.
Some hipsters would have you believe the deepest place on Earth is the second-to-last page of a David Foster Wallace novel, but theyd be wrong.
That honor really belong to Challenger Deep, a fissure inside the Mariana Trench. This underwater trough 1,500 miles long and about 40 miles wide-cut is located in the deep Pacific ocean at a level east of the Philippines and south of Japan near the island of Guam. And when we say “deep, ” “weve been” mean it. Challenger Deep is practically seven miles underwater. As National Geographic pointed out : ” If Mount Everest were dropped into the Marianas Trench, its crest would still be more than a mile underwater.”
Only three people have been inside Challenger Deep: Navy Lt. Dan Walsh and Jacques Piccard descended into it in 1960, and director James Cameron traveled there in 2012. If you want to repeat their stunt, good luck. Theres no natural daylight inside the profundities of the Mariana Trench, the water temperature is barely above freezing, and the water pressure is about 8 tons per square inch, or about 1,000 times what we suffer at sea level.
4. Tristan da Cunha is 2,000 miles from anywhere.
Tristan da Cunha is the most remote place on the planet where people still live. Not a lot of people, psyche you. The current population is about 270 people, and the majority of members of this really is offsprings of the original families who settled there in the 1800 s.
Tristan da Cunha is a tiny archipelago of islands in countries of the south Atlantic with South Africa about 1,700 miles back and South America about 2,000 miles back. Its so remote that some people anticipate it invigorated the mysterious island in “Lost.”
Tristan da Cunha was discovered in the 1500 s and annexed by the British in the 1800 s as a means of retaining an eye on Napoleon( who was exiled to the nearby island of St. Helena ). If you want to go there today, it is only accessible by craft.
5. Before 2010, the only lane into Mdog County was over a suspension bridge.
Mdog County is one of Chinas wild natural treasures. Located in the mountains of the Tibet Autonomous Region( occupied Tibet adjacent to Mainland China ), it is home to dozens of rare animals and thousands native plants.
Its also Chinas least populated district. Of the 1.35 billion people living in China, only 12,000 people make their home in Mdog County, mostly working as farmers. Part of that comes from Mdogs remoteness. For decades, the Chinese government tried and failed to build a reliable street into the district. Their tries were frustrated by mudslides, avalanches, and extreme wintertime weather. Until five years ago, the only lane into Mdog County was through an overland mountain route and across a 650 -foot suspension bridge . strong> An all-weather road was completed in 2013. And “all-weather” means “passable by all-terrain vehicle for nine months of the year.” Unless you’re a yeti, in which lawsuit, you do you.
6. Svalbard, Norway, is the worlds biggest deep seed freeze.
If you cant envisage a day without your down-filled windbreaker, then the Svalbard islands are your 24,000 -square-mile Arctic paradise. Located above the Arctic Circle, this Norwegian region doesnt suffer days and nights like “the worlds” at lower latitudes. Instead it will go through months of complete darkness followed by months of endless daytime.
If your circadian rhythms can handle it, you are able to inspect Svalbard by catching one of the daily flights from Oslo and then join the 2,700 occupants in the town of Longyearbyen for a plateful of kjttboller and a glass of akevitt.
Or check out the Global Seed Vault, an underground bunker storing the majority of members of the worlds plant and food seeds in case of an extinction-level cataclysm . strong> Svalbard was chosen as the locating due to its remoteness and its protective layer of permafrost. More than 720,000 seeds are kept in the Global Seed Vault from more than 4,000 plant species.
7. SGang Gwaay is visited so rarely, iStock doesnt have photos of it.
SGang Gwaay is a tiny island folded into the southwest corner of the lower part of Moresby Island in Haida Gwaii, Canada. Resided by the Indigenous Haida people until the late 1880 s, it is of great cultural relevance to the Haida and was recognized as a UNESCO world heritage in 1991.
The village of SGang Gwaay Llnagaay( Nan Sdins or, formerly, Ninstints ) was the primary agreement on the tiny island. Its beaches are dotted with cedar mortuary spars and totems along with the remains of several longhouses.
Getting to SGang Gwaay includes a short airliner go from Vancouver or a two-day drive from Vancouver to Prince Rupert, plus a six-hour ferrying go to Haida Gwaii. Once there, travelers must purchase a permit to enter Gwaii Hanaas National Marine Park by ocean kayak or craft then take a short track on responsible tourism. After that, its only a few lovely days’ travel to reach this remote and magical place.
8. Gangkhar Puensum is the worlds tallest unclimbed mountain.
Mountain climbers of “the worlds” rejoice: There are still peaks to defeat, and Gangkhar Puensum is one of them. Located in the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan at its border with China, Gangkhar Puensum reaches 24,836 feet( by comparison, Mount Everest is 29, 029 feet ). Perpetually cloaked in snow, its identify in Bhutanese means “white peak of the three spiritual brothers.”
Four separate safaruss in 1985 and 1986 failed to reach the summit. No one has tried since . strong>
Sadly, if clambering Gangkhar Puensum is your reverie, it must remain unfulfilled. The Bhutan government has proscribed mountain climbing( at altitudes greater than 6,000 meters since 1994 and then wholly in 2003) out of respect for the spirits and gods that neighbourhoods belief dwell in and around the mountains. It is an aggressive move, but one the government believes is necessary to protect the Bhutanese society, belief, and environmental issues from external armies.
In the meantime, the idea in photos alone is pretty darn breathtaking.
How many had you heard of? Think your friends will have heard of more ? strong>
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