Thursday, 27 September 2012

Bouvet island - the most remote place on Earth

       In the cold Southern Atlantic there is a lonely freezing rocky island, called Bouvet. It  has the distinction to be the most remote place on Earth. The nearest land is Gough island, part of Tristan da Cunha archipelago, 1600 kilometers (990 mi) away. The nearest continent is Antarctica, 1700 kilometers (1100 mi) away. Africa is more than 2200 km away. The island is all alone in the Southern ocean. And if that is not enough, Bouvet island has very steep coasts, no natural harbour of any kind and very inhospitable nature. It is like the island likes being all alone.
       So naturally, Bouvet island is uninhabited and has always been that way. And it took everyone until the mid 18-th century to discover it. On January 1 1739 Jean-Baoptiste Bouvet de Lozier had the first ever human glimpse at the island that would later be named after him. But landing did not occur for another century. The first confirmed landing was done by a John Norris a British captain in 1825 who named the island Liverpool. Both  Bouvet and Norris however got wrong the exact location of the island; Norris even thought he found another island 70km to the north, which appeared on the maps of the next century.  It took until 1898 for the island coordinates to be correctly determined by a German expedition. And it was in 1927 when the second landing happened - by a Norwegian expedition called Norvegia 1, which also annexed the island for Norway. Since then several Norwegian expeditions have explored the island, and several attempts were made to establish some form of a hut or a research station from ship-containers, however Bouvet island firmly refuses to accept any form of human influence and all of them except a small unmanned meteorological station have been washed into the sea. The longest period any human being spent there was in 1978 when for two months there was a manned meteorological station.
       The island has a territory of around  49 square km (19 sq mi) and is about 9.5 by 7 kilometers (5.9 by 4.3 mi) big. Almost all of the island is covered by glaciers and its permanent ice-cap is one if its most characteristic features.No plants whatsoever, but abundant sea life, many seals and penguins. However the temperatures are not actually that cold, they vary between -5 and 3 degrees Celsium with an year average around -1.

Coordinates: 54° 26′ 0″ S, 3° 24′ 0″  
Google Maps
Wikipedia Article

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