2 Nov 2012

The top 10 most inaccessible places on Earth

Seeing as the cities we live in have become larger and more crowded, the world has become a smaller place, thanks to modern technology and air travel. Where journeys from one continent to another once took months, maybe years, they now take but mere hours.

Nevertheless, there are still some places that remain shrouded in mystery, simply because they are very, very difficult to reach.

Should you have the time, money, and know-how, here’s our list of the top 10 most inaccessible places on earth:

10. Easter Island

Also known as Rapa Nui or Isla de Pascua in Spanish, the Chilean island is located in the southeastern part of the Pacific Ocean. The Easter Island is famous for its 887 extant statues, called Moai, which are littered around the island. The 163.6 sq. kilometer territory has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and it is said to be the most remote inhabited island in the world.

9. Alert, Canada

Located in the Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada, it is believed to be the northernmost inhabited place in the world. With a population of only 5 inhabitants(2011), the base is located at just 817 kilometres (508 mi) from the North Pole. There are various weather stations and radio facilities in the area, such as the co-located Environment Canada weather station, the Global Atmosphere Watch monitoring laboratory, and the Alert Airport.

8. Tristan da Cunha

Part of the British overseas territory, the volcanic group of islands is the most remote inhabited archipelago on Earth. Located in the south of the Atlantic Ocean, only 2,816 kilometres (1,750 mi) from South Africa, the main island of Tristan da Cuhna has an area of 98 sq. kilometres and a permanent population of 275(2009). Lacking an airport, the islands can be reached only by sea.

7. McMurdo Station

Located on the southern tip of Ross Island, Antarctica, the U.S. Antarctic research center is the largest community in Antarctica. Capable of supporting up to 1,258 residents in more than 100 buidings, McMurdo Station also features a harbour, three airfields (two seasonal) and a heliport.

6. Angel falls

Also known as Kerepakupai Vená, the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall drops from a staggering 979 m (2,648 ft.) height over the edge of the Auyantepui mountain. It was named after Jimmie Angel, a US aviator who was the first to fly over the falls in a plane. It is still one of the hardest places to reach on Earth due to the dense jungle and lack of means of travel.

5. Bouvet Island

The uninhabited subantarctic island is located in the South Atlantic Ocean, at the southern end of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Known to be a Dependent territory of Norway, the desolated volcanic island was first spotted on January 1st 1739 by French commander Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier and later on, in 1928 it became a Norwegian overseas territory. Notably, the island was mentioned in the movie Aliens vs. Predators and even though it isn’t the battle ground of two alien species, it received a visit from the Hanse Explorer on the 21st of February 2012 whose crew left a time capsule that will be opened in 2062.

4. Point Nemo

The oceanic pole of inaccessibility, often reffered to as Point Nemo, is the place in the ocean that is farthest from land. Located in the South Pacific Ocean, (48°52.6′S 123°23.6′W) or 2,688 kilometres (1,670 mi) from the nearest lands, Point Nemo got its name from Jules Verne’s fictional character, Captain Nemo. (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870))

3. TauTona Mine

At 3.8 kilometers (2.4 mi) deep, it is currently home to the world’s deepest mining operations. Located in Carletonville, South Africa, the TauTona Mine is one of the three Western Deep Levels mines of the West Wits gold field west of Johannesburg. The mine is so deep that the journey to the rock face can take 1 hour from surface level and the temperatures inside can rise to life threatening levels.

2. Naica Crystal Cave

Also known as the Giant Crystal Cave, it is home to some of the largest natural crystals ever found. Located below the surface of the nearby town of Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico, the cave was discovered in 2000 by miners excavating a new tunnel. The Cave of Crystals is a horseshoe-shaped cavity in limestone rock, with air temperatures reaching up to 58 °C (136 °F) and 90 to 99 percent humidity. Without proper protection equipment, people can only endure approximately ten minutes of exposure to the heat. Notably, the cave is accessible today because of the mining company’s pumping operations. If the pumping were stopped, the cave would again be submerged.

1. Mount Everest

With a height of 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) the world’s highest mountain is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas, at the border between Nepal and China. In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Society, and was first conquered on the 28th of May 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. The summit of mount Everest has been reached by roughly 3,000 climbers to this day and, statistically speaking, 1 out of every 10 successful climbs has ended in death. Notably, 200 people still lie dead along the slopes of Mount Everest