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The most isolated place on Earth where astronauts in space are the nearest people to you

Tom Wood

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The most isolated place on Earth where astronauts in space are the nearest people to you

Featured Image Credit: Google Maps/Flickr

The Pacific Ocean houses a place so remote the closest people to it are onboard the International Space Station.

Congratulations, you've finally reached the final day of the month which has felt 100 days long.

However, if that's not enough to make you feel more positive about the rest of the year and you still want to up sticks and jet off as far away from the rest of humanity as possible?

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Well, your luck's in, because there's a place on Earth so remote that it's closest neighbors are actually astronauts.

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Oh and it's not actually that habitable with severe winds and freezing temperatures.

But then again, maybe you really have reached the end of your tether with a nagging parent or bossy co-worker.

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So, where is this mythical land where you could escape all your day-to-day concerns but in turn, suffer more physically?

This is pretty much what you'll see upon arrival. Credit: Google Maps
This is pretty much what you'll see upon arrival. Credit: Google Maps

Located miles away from just about anywhere in the middle of the world’s largest Ocean, with the nearest land being around 2,688 kilometres or 1,670 miles away, is the 'Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility' called Point Nemo.

And that’s just the closest land in one direction, Ducie Island – an atoll in the Pitcairn Islands – is technically the closest place to it, but even that is uninhabited, so you’d have to go a bit further before you found any people. That’s if you head north, anyway.

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Heading south you’d end up at Maher Island in Antarctica, or heading northeast you’d find Motu Nui Island, another uninhabited island near to Easter Island.

The exact point of Point Nemo depends on the exact co-ordinates of those three points, and creates an interesting solution to the ‘longest swim’ problem, as the ocean point is exactly the same distance from all three of those places.

Anyway, the point – if you’ll excuse the pun – is that it’s a really long way from anywhere.

In fact, as with any remote place that is more than 400 kilometres or 250 miles from anywhere, the closest people to it are often the astronauts aboard the International Space Station, which passes overhead.

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It's closest neighbors are the astronauts in the International Space Station. Credit: Getty Images/ Yunus Turkyilmaz/ Anadolu
It's closest neighbors are the astronauts in the International Space Station. Credit: Getty Images/ Yunus Turkyilmaz/ Anadolu

The area was first named in 1992 by Croatian survey engineer Hrvoje Lukatela, who has since recalculated the exact co-ordinates using Google Maps data in order to compare with his original findings.

The name Nemo comes from a Latin word - not a plucky orange fish - and it means ‘no man' which seems fair enough when you think about where it is.

The location of the oceanic pole makes it a useful place if you’ve got to get something down from a great height without potentially hurting anyone.

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Given that there’s no-one within thousands of kilometres, it’s a great place for satellites and other spacecrafts to come down from space, burning up in the atmosphere above the remote location.

That means that there might even be some interesting space junk beneath the ocean.

Not that we’ll ever find it, because the sea is also pretty deep down there, around 13,000 feet or two and a half miles.

Here's what you'll be greeted with. Credit: Pexels
Here's what you'll be greeted with. Credit: Pexels

In fact, when the International Space Station is no longer usable, it too will be ditched into the waters near to Point Nemo, which is kind of poetic really, given the popular fact about it.

The two points will be getting a lot closer around 2031, as that’s when NASA have suggested they might have to bring the ISS down.

Should you wish to travel to Point Nemo, just get yourself to these co-ordinates: 45º52.6S, 123º23.6W.

Don’t expect a warm welcome though. Oh, and watch out for falling satellites.

Topics: News, Science, World News, Travel

Tom Wood
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