Farthest point from land

By | 2018-06-12T17:46:28+00:00 May 23, 2017|Oceanography, Records|

Farthest point from land

Last updated: June 12, 2018 at 17:46 pm

2,688 km (1,670 mi) — The oceanic pole of inaccessibility, a.k.a. Point Nemo (48°52.6′S 123°23.6′W), lies in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Pitcairn Islands and southwest of Easter Island. It is the place in the ocean that is farthest from land. It is named after Captain Nemo, a fictional seafaring anti-hero created by author Jules Verne. Nemo means “no-one” in Latin, which is exactly who you should find at such a remote location. Point Nemo was discovered—from land—in 1992 by Hrvoje Lukatela who used software that took into account the ellipsoid shape of the planet. The distance to the closest uninhabited point of land is over 1,600 km (1,000 miles), while the closest inhabited landmass is 2,688 km (1,670 miles) away. To give an idea of scale, Point Nemo is so far from inhabited areas that the nearest humans are occasionally astronauts orbiting overhead in the International Space Station at a mere 416 km (258 miles). Surprisingly, the remoteness of Point Nemo does not shield it from human activity. In fact, its distance from land is the very reason why hundreds of decommissioned satellites and even space stations have been brought down as close as possible to Point Nemo in order to reduce the risk of debris crashing into inhabited areas or ships.

If you want to get as far as you can from the continental land masses but don’t mind the company of people, you could also head for the most isolated island or the most isolated atoll in the world, where there are plenty of shallow water dive sites, and where you won’t have to worry about being obliterated by crashing space refuse.

Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel; Lombardo, Umberto. (September 2007). Poles of Inaccessibility: A Calculation Algorithm for the Remotest Places on Earth. Scottish Geographical Journal. 123 (3): 227–233.
Shannon Stirone. (13 June 2016). This Is Where the International Space Station Will Go to Die. Popular Science.

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Jeffrey Gallant is the Editor-in-Chief and Records Keeper of the Diving Almanac. He is also a contributing editor of DIVER Magazine, and the scientific director of the Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG). Jeffrey started diving in 1982.

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