Have you had enough of kids, car alarms and the obnoxious laugh of your neighbor down the hall? You may find yourself wanting to get away from it all. If you aren’t lucky enough to have the magical nose of Sam Stephens to zap you into another dimension, you can visit Bouvet Island; an uninhabited, glacier clad island located between the southern tip of Africa and Antarctica. By all accounts, this is the remotest place on Earth, but if you don’t like the cold or have something against Norway, the county to which it belongs, take heart, you can always move to the comparatively burgeoning metropolis of Tristan da Cunha, a group of British, volcanic islands half way between South America and Africa. One of the islands in this group is actually called Inaccessible Island; and that’s saying something given its neighbors!
The most remote place on Earth can be defined as the landmass furthest from any other landmass and either inhabited or uninhabited. Since Tristan da Cunha is a group of islands, they can’t be defined as being furthest from another land mass, but taken as a whole, they tie with Bouvet Island as the most remote. The Tristan da Cunha group includes Ascension, Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha itself which has a total population of 284. The islands are 2,816 km away from the nearest landmass.
What is Tristan da Cunha famous for, other than being hard to get to? Wideawake Airfield on Ascension Island was jointly owned by the US and British governments and used extensively during WWII, but then fell into disuse. In 1982, the British used Ascension Island as a staging base for the Falklands War. It’s famous also, for housing one of the 5 worldwide GPS ground antennae which you would no doubt, need to even get there!
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Here’s the guide to visiting Tristan da Cunha.
We have recorded an episode of Astronomy Cast all about Earth. Listen here, Episode 51: Earth.