In spite of the fact that our planet is undergoing a population explosion, there are still some places where it would be hard to find a companion. In just a few moments we are going to take you on a tour that will involve everything from isolated arctic islands to secluded canyons. By the end of it you will have probably gained a new appreciation for the people in your life (or maybe you’ll start packing your bags). Either way, we hope you enjoy our compilation of the 10 most remote places in the world.
10. Oymyakon, Siberia
A village in Oymyakonsky Ulus of the Sakha Republic, Russia boasting a population of 521. It holds the record for lowest recorded temperature on Earth for any permanently inhabited location at −69.2 °C (−93 °F).
9. Socotra Island, Yemen
Described as “the most alien-looking place on Earth” Socotra is home to some extremely bizarre flora thanks to its intense isolation from the rest of the world. In spite of this, it’s actually inhabited by around 40,000 people, with no public transport (and two roads), but cars may be rented if required. The island does have an airport, however, with flights almost every day.
8. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
If you want isolation, there’s no place better than Antarctica. And if you really want isolation, there’s no place better in Antarctica that right smack dab on the south pole. The place is so isolated in fact, that in 1999 one of the physicians had to self-administer chemotherapy using supplies from a cargo drop when she discovered that she had breast cancer.
7. Deception Island, Antarctica
The Island got it’s name after a small aircraft pilot misjudged his distance from land and crashed, killing 4 passengers and leaving one to perish while he waited for help. If the story behind the name doesn’t put off adventurers, today they can wander around the remains of old Antarctic bases, long destroyed by volcanic eruptions, swim in volcanically heated waters at Pendulum Cove, or visit approximately 200,000 birds at Chinstrap Penguin colony.
6. Chang Tang, Tibet
Swedish explorer Sven Hedin, in a crossing of Chang Tang, reported not seeing a single person for 81 days. As part of the remote Tibetan Plateau (which also happens to be on our list) Chang Tang really takes isolation to a level of its own…no pun intended.
5. Antarctic Pole of Inaccessibility
A “pole of inaccessibility” is that point on a continent that is the greatest distance from any ocean in any direction. For example, the North American pole is in South Dakota. Of the 7 continents, however, the most inaccessible pole lies in the frigid wastelands of Antarctica. In 1958 the Soviet Union tried, and failed, to establish a base at the Antarctic Pole of Inaccessibility. Before abandoning their project, however, in classic soviet fashion, they constructed a statue of Lenin to oversee the icy landscape and mark the USSR’s global reach.
4. Tristan da Cunha, South Atlantic Ocean
Tristan de Cunha is an archipelago of small islands located in the southern Atlantic Ocean. The nearest land to the island is South Africa, which is roughly 1,700 miles away, while the South American coast lies at a distance of about 2,000 miles. The islands have a total population 271 people, mostly farmers and craftsmen. Although the island now has some television stations and access to the internet via satellite, it is still the most physically isolated location on planet earth. The island’s rocky geography makes building an airstrip impossible, so the only way to travel to it is by boat. It was once regularly connected to South Africa by a British transport ship, but this service has since been interrupted and now the only visitors to Tristan da Cunha are deep sea fishing boats.
3. Area 51
As a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base in southern Nevada its primary purpose is to support development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems. The intense secrecy surrounding the base has made it the frequent subject of conspiracy theories and given that the US government didn’t even acknowledge its existence until 2003, it’s a hard place to visit indeed.
2. Alert, Nunavut, Canada
Although found at a slightly higher elevation than the rest of our contestants, the International Space Station is undeniably one of the most isolated places in the world. And like most of the hard-to-reach places on our list its populated by those mavericks of exploration…scientists.
1. Tibetan Plateau
On April 18th 2009 researchers at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy combined a series of maps to create a new map showing the most interconnected and remote places on earth. The maps are based on a model that calculated how long it would take to travel to the nearest city of 50,000 or more people by land or water. The first image shows the final map of connectedness while the second image shows a zoomed view over the world’s most remote place: the Tibetan plateau. From here it is a three-week trip to the cities of Lhasa or Korla – one day by car and the remaining 20 on foot, which statistically speaking officially makes this the most isolated place in the world.