By SJ Bansil
Earth is the only recognized planet in our solar system that could support life. And that is a given fact. It can provide the basic needs to live — water, sunlight, food, and air to breathe. In total, it has more than 57 million square miles of land surface. But accordingly, there are an approximate of 7.3 billion people living across the globe. And what’s interesting is, most of the land area of our planet is less or totally not occupied at all.
There could be a lot of reasons behind this. Probably, it’s because of the isolation from the urban regions, unsafe environment or absence of vegetation. Generally, these remote places are still widely unknown. Even though they are already explored or inhabited by few people.
So here, we’ve listed the top ten most isolated places in the world:
McMurdo Station, Antarctica
It is no surprise that Antarctica would be on this list. It is situated at the bottom of the Earth. So the climate is very unfriendly and risky.
It has no native residents. Thus, people who stay there are mostly scientists, operational and support personnel and military people. They are living on the shore of McMurdo Sound, south tip of Ross Island. And they called the area McMurdo Station.
McMurdo Station is a research center of the United States Antarctic Program. It has the capacity to support 1,258 residents during the summer. However, it decreases to 250 during the winter. There is no other way to get there, except boarding to a military plane escorted by the U.S. Army.
Bantam, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Consisting of around 600 residents, Bantam got the spot for the 9th rank. Bantam Village is the capital of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, which is about 1,700 miles from Perth, Australia.
This tropical island is the home for Cocos Malay people. Interesting enough, their isolation from urbanization helped them to preserve their native language and tradition. The village becomes an attraction to most tourists. They can go kitesurfing, snorkeling, surfing, and birdwatching.
Who loves winter and snow? If you do, you might love to stay in Oymyakon, a rural area in Oymyakonsky District of Sakha Republic, Russia. This locality is considered as the coldest inhabited place on Earth. Because it has an average temperature of -58 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to the census, Oymyakon has roughly 500 residents. They have a limited supply of food due to the reason that crops can never grow in their area. If you plan to visit the town, you have to travel by car for several days. Planes couldn’t make their way to Oymyakon because of its freezing temperature.
Located in eastern Greenland, Ittoqqortoormiit placed the 7th in our list. It has 452 residents in records. Ejnar Mikkelsen founded it in 1925 with only 80 inhabitants. The locals are making their living through hunting polar bears and whales.
Ittoqqortoormiit is also a great place to see Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. Many tourists also visit the area. And this has helped to boost their tourism.
Tristan da Cunha, British Overseas Territory
Known as the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, Tristan da Cunha has a population of only 250 people. It is one of the remote group of volcanic islands of South Atlantic. It is located approximately 1,511 miles off the coast of Cape Town in South Africa.
The residents of Tristan da Cunha share only nine surnames. They also have an interesting social and economic structure. They prohibit outsiders to buy and settle on their lands. Agriculture is their way of living and all resident families communally owned the farms and terrains.
With a population of 208 people, it is no doubt Supai in Arizona would take the 5th place in our list. It is situated within the Grand Canyon, hence the life of the residents are very rural. It is known as the most remote community in the United States.
Tourists can get to Supai on foot, by mule or by helicopter. There are no other means of transportation aside from those. Mules also carry the mails and foods of the inhabitants. Havasu Creek is the most popular attraction in the area.
Villa Las Estrellas, Antarctica
Our top 4 goes to Villa Las Estrellas in Antarctica. There are 150 residents during summer, whereas during winter, there are only 80 residents. It is located on a military base on King George Island.
Villa Las Estrellas is a Spanish term for “The Stars Town”. It is a Chilean settlement community in Antarctica with only 14 homes. It has schools, a library, gym, church, hospital, and souvenir shop, despite its little population.
Kerguelen Islands, French Southern, and Antarctic Lands
The third rank goes to another land from the Antarctic region — the Kerguelen Islands. It is also known as the Desolation Islands. It consists of only 45 people during winter and 110 during summer.
Kerguelen Island is surrounded by 300 islets. And just like McMurdo Station, there are no original inhabitants here. Only French scientists, engineers and researchers reside in the area. Ships are the only way of transportation to the islands. And it is only accessible four times a year.
Pitcairn Islands, British Overseas Territory
Second place in our list — it comes to Palmerston, a coral atoll in the Cook Islands in the Pacific Ocean. James Cook discovered Palmerston in 1774. It was originally uninhabited.
William Marsters, a ship’s carpenter, and barrel maker arrived in Palmerston in 1863. He had three wives and 23 children. The descendants of Marsters are now the residents of Palmerston, with a population of 62 people. In 1954, the British government granted the family of full ownership of their ancestral home.
And the most isolated place on Earth is…
Palmerston, Cook Islands
So our top 1 goes to Pitcairn Island with 50 inhabitants as of the year 2018. It is also a British Overseas Territory and it is located 3,300 miles from New Zealand. Transportation is also very limited. You can only travel via 32-hour yacht ride.
The British government has been requesting the citizens to occupy the land. However, due to the sexual assault scandal of six local men in 2004, people are hesitant to move in Pitcairn.
Indeed, Earth still has a huge quantity of unoccupied land surface area. Nonetheless, we should still consider a lot of essential factors if the area is habitable by humans. After all, it’s not the number of population that matters most. It is the security, safety, and welfare of the people.
Have you ever visited and explored these places before? How was the experience? Or are you still planning to explore these remote places of our planet?