It seems as though every corner of the globe has been explored or connected with the rise in global communications, satellite imagery, and air travel, but there are still areas on earth so uninhabited, isolated, and reclusive that they have become the most remote places on the planet.
According to the dictionary the meaning of remote is, “far apart, out-of-the-way, secluded, or distant in time.” All these areas had to meet that criteria in one way or the other, but one thing is for certain, these aren’t areas you can pull up on a friendly travel website.
|Annapurna -South Face Photo by Gianni Scopinaro|
The highest most remote place on earth? It has to be Mount Everest, right? At 29,028 ft above sea-level it is definitely the highest place on earth, but remote? Not so much–at least not in the secluded sense. There have been over 5,100 ascents to the summit by more than 3,000 climbers. Not all of these ascents were successful, but in May of each year, hundreds of climbers ascend on Mount Everest to test their skill, and luck, against the world’s tallest peak. So what is the highest remote place on earth? You would think it would have to be the 2nd highest peak, or the 3rd, or even the 4th. No, the most remote, and also the most dangerous, is the 10th highest peak in the world, Annapurna I, in the Himalayan Mountains of central Nepal. The height of Annapurna comes in at 26,545 ft and has seen the fewest climbers ascend to its peak, only 191, less than any other mountain. In addition, Annapurna has a fantastical death rate of 61 persons or approximately 41%. Meaning 1 out of 3 climbers who attempt this mountain will lose their life on the ascent or descent, making it one of the deadliest remote places in the world.
The lowest natural point on the earth’s surface and also the most remote would be Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench near Guam in the Pacific Ocean. This area is so deep that if you turned Mount Everest over and put the tip into the trench you would still have 7,000 ft between the mountain’s base and the surface of the water. Only three humans have made it to the bottom of the trench at 36,070 ft. In 1960 in the bathyscaphe Trieste, Jacques Piccard and US Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh made the descent and stayed at the bottom for approximately 20 minutes before surfacing. In 2012, film director James Cameron, of Titanicfame, dropped to the depths in the submersible Deepsea Challenger and stayed there for over two hours. There are other planned missions to journey to the deepest part of the ocean, but as of yet, none have taken place. There won’t be any travel deals to these parts anytime soon.
The British overseas territory of Tristan da Cunha claims the title as the most remote area where people actually live on the land. This island is far away from everything and anything, situated in the center of the South Atlantic Ocean. Tristan da Cunha boasts a population of around 275 people and is 1,750 miles from the nearest land, Africa, and 2,088 miles from South America. There is no airport on Tristan, instead the islanders must rely on fishing boats from South Africa to resupply the island eight or nine times a year.
If Tristan da Cunha wins for most remote in the Atlantic, and most remote overall, then the runner up would be the Pitcairn Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Pitcairn is also a British overseas territory and has about 48 inhabitants. A good argument could be made that Pitcairn is even more remote than Tristan because of its low population and general inaccessibility, but Pitcairn does lay near Magareva of the Gambier Islands in French Polynesia which has an operating airport.