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Bouvet Island, the most remote place of the world.

4 min read

This place is known as “the loneliest place on earth,” in fact is an uninhabited frozen isle between South Africa and Antarctica and is the most remote island (and place) in the world. It’s located approximately 2260 km away from the nearest humans (which are the 271 people who live on the island of Tristan da Cunha, the most remote inhabited island in the world), and is populated by vegetation (only lichens and mosses), seals, seabirds, and penguins. The highest point, with 780m, is the top of the dormant volcano located in the middle of the island, and over 90% of the landmass is glacier, with thick layers of ice frozen over volcanic sand.

Do you want live here, without people? The climate is inhospitable for most of the year, and in the winter temperatures are well below freezing. Slippery ice is everywhere, much of it hidden in the white snow, and avalanches are possible in entire island. Of course, there are no ports or harbors at Bouvet, and there is no phone, electricity and especially there are no human residents all over the year. For anyone, it’s incredibly difficult to set foot on the island, because it’s surround by high glacial cliffs, and the only way to go on the island is to fly a helicopter from the deck of a ship and land on the Bouvet’s icy surface….or swimming. But only if you are a penguin! Practically, Bouvet is an ice covered, glacier surrounded, inhospitable rock face.

Yet it has been an object of national desire and lot of people have tried to claim it. The Island was officially discovered by Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier on 1st January 1739, even if its position in the ocean was wrong, and in 1808 it was re-discovered by James Lindsay. Lindsay though it was a different island and re-named it, with lot of fantasy, Lindsay Island. Until 1825, when whaler Captain Norris found it once again, re-re-named it Liverpool Island, and claimed it for the British Crown. The claim didn’t stop, and on 1st December 1927, Norway landed, stayed on the island for a month, and claimed the island for themselves. They renamed it Bouvetøya and since then, the island has remained in Norwegian control and is occasionally used for scientific studies about monitoring whale migration. Only in 1971, Bouvet Island and its adjacent territorial waters became a nature reserve. The island even has its own internet domain “.bv,” even if there are no .bv sites on the web, because the Norwegian government has decided that the domain will remain unused. At least for now. Norway in 1994 created a scientific station, but despite its 36 square meters from the satellite was no longer visible, and was overwhelmed and buried by an avalanche.

Obviously, there are mysteries and interesting stories related to this place. In 1964, an abandoned boat was discovered on the island, along with various object and supplies, but however, the boat’s passengers were never found and identity of the travelers is still today unknown. Lieutenant Commander Allan Crawford was sent to Bouvet Island aboard the icebreaker HMS Protector, of the Royal Navy, to study an area of emerged ice, generated by an eruption of the island’s volcano which occurred about a decade before. The man takes photographs over all territory to study its morphology, checks the maps in his possession, writes notes in his notebook, until he see a lake, located north of the island (a lake unknown on the maps), where floats a lifeboat. A boat without flags, and therefore it is impossible to trace the nationality. Two years later, another expedition is sent to the island, but there is no trace of the raft. Nothing.

In 1979, a light was seen between Bouvet and Prince Edward Islands by the United States’s Vela satellite. This fact is known as the Vela Incident, and now it’s believed that the flash was caused by a secret South African-Israeli joint nuclear bomb detonation, even if neither country has officially admitted it.

Photos from the web // public demain

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