Wanna get away?
December 10, 2016 12:49 AM   Subscribe

What is the loneliest place on planet Earth? (slyt)---Point Nemo is the furthest place in the world from any sort of human.
...now it is not actually a bit of land. It’s the spot in the ocean furthest from land, in any direction. Other poles of inaccessibility include the Eurasian pole, in China, or the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility in Antarctica — a very difficult place to visit

On a planet with an infinitely complex landmass and ocean distribution pattern, finding such a point might take a fair bit of computing power - or even border on unsolvable. Fortunately, on our home planet this distribution is somewhat simple and a 'heuristic' solution can produce an answer with a high confidence level, in a very reasonable time.
posted by shockingbluamp (17 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Cool! I read the question wrong and thought the answer was Easter Island(s) so it's a nice consolation prize to see that it is one of the three triangulation reference points.
posted by mannequito at 1:04 AM on December 10, 2016

If I were looking to get away from it all, my first choice would be Kerguelen.
posted by fairmettle at 1:29 AM on December 10, 2016 [7 favorites]

I assume the reason the point is called Nemo is because it's more or less the location of Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 1:50 AM on December 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

My personal record for most desolate place visited is the meteorology station on Jan Mayen. I hitched a ride with a RNoAF C-130 to visit a friend stationed there. Standing on the black beach and hearing nothing but surf and bird cries was a slightly surreal experience.
posted by Harald74 at 2:13 AM on December 10, 2016 [6 favorites]

Loneliest or most isolated - They are not the same<
I have this bizarre theory that sailors are more isolated than astronauts.
posted by vapidave at 2:27 AM on December 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's not a bizarre theory - a spacecraft in low earth orbit is only a hundred miles away from a city beneath it.

See XKCD's findings on the furthest a human being has ever been from any living human being.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:48 AM on December 10, 2016 [7 favorites]

So, we've been pelting R'lyeh with space debris?

This may not end well for us. Wakey wakey!
posted by rmd1023 at 4:32 AM on December 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

The World's Loneliest Islands
posted by leotrotsky at 4:41 AM on December 10, 2016

Pfft. The loneliest place on earth is usually held to be Manhattan.
"Solitude" is an entirely different question.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 10:23 AM on December 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

What would make someone want to actually live somewhere that remote and inaccessible? I know someone who's done something like it; I really don't understand. (Beyond the boredom I'd anticipate happening eventually, I'd think that the feeling of vastness all around me, which might be thrilling, initially, might get a little terrifying after a while. Quick google - yes, apeirophobia, something like that would probably kick in.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:35 AM on December 10, 2016

I'd add Isla Javier in Chile to that Loneliest Islands list. Many of the listed islands had small populations. There are NO people on Isla Javier, except for the occasional fool-hardy young kayakers who should know better, and are extremely lucky in that they didn't get drowned by the perpetual storms that roll into the shallow Golfo de Penas from the Southwest.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 1:03 PM on December 10, 2016

[xkcd story]: But the astronauts knew they'd be back in contact in a short time. There are lots of people on Earth who could beat them on a "minimum time to contact another human if you wanted to" basis. Sailing to Point Nemo on a boat with no radio would probably do it.
posted by ctmf at 1:38 PM on December 10, 2016

I will take this opportunity to recommend Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot On and Never Will, which is fittingly one of my desert island books.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:42 PM on December 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've always heard that the Hawaiian islands are the furthest place on earth from other human beings....but I've never bothered to double check that claim. certainly looks like it could be true, when I look at it on a map....
posted by KillaSeal at 3:08 PM on December 10, 2016

Saw a cool article about that a while back; thanks for posting.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:02 PM on December 10, 2016

It actually may not be as infrequently visited as it sounds. The challenge of sailing around the world just a bit faster than some other idiot to own a world record for a few years is surprisingly popular. And given that those pesky continents towards the northern hemisphere really slow down a sailboat, the speed route is basically due south, circle below the continents, head back up. With the added, ahem, "advantage" of steady roaring winds over 40 knots. (the area is called the roaring 40's). So other than getting dismasted at Point Nemo, the visit would brief, probably noted in the log and toasted quickly between sail changes.
posted by sammyo at 8:15 PM on December 10, 2016

I always think I'd want to live alone in a completely remote place, but then sometimes I don't leave the house for a week and I start going a little bonkers, even though I have phone and Internet contact with others.
posted by AFABulous at 5:40 PM on December 11, 2016

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