In the routine of our day-to-day lives, we often forget we’re standing on a vast planet with immeasurable distances. Thanks to air transport, we’ve managed to bridge these colossal distances within mere hours. Yet, there is a remote spot on our planet where no aeroplane can take you. This place? Point Nemo. And to get there, you’d need to set sail.
Point Nemo: More Than Just A Name
Contrary to what the name might suggest, Point Nemo isn’t an uninhabited island or an obscure atoll. It’s an arbitrary point deep in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. Its claim to fame? It’s the farthest point from any land on our planet. To put things into perspective, even though the Pacific Ocean is vast – covering an area of 178 million sq. km, surpassing the Earth’s total land area of 149 million sq. km – Point Nemo stands apart. Amidst the thousands of islands dotting the Pacific, none are farther from each other than Point Nemo.
Comparing Distances: The ISS Vs Point Nemo
A mind-boggling fact: The International Space Station (ISS), orbiting Earth at an altitude of roughly 416 km, is closer to Point Nemo than any terrestrial land. Specifically, Easter Island, the nearest land to Point Nemo, is a staggering 2700 km away. This truly accentuates how secluded and isolated Point Nemo is.
Places like Auckland in New Zealand and Ducie Atoll in the Pacific are 2778 km and 2688 km away, respectively. A voyage by ship to this remote spot from the closest landmass would take a traveller approximately 10-15 days – quite a lengthy journey for a location with, essentially, ‘nothing’.
Space Graveyard: Point Nemo’s Eerie Attraction
While it might seem desolate, Point Nemo has a company of a different kind. The “space cemetery” is the resting place of deorbited space satellites from nations like Russia, Japan, and the European Space Agency. In 2001, Russia’s Mir space station was brought down here.
Life, or Lack Thereof, at Point Nemo
Located within the South Pacific Gyre, the viability of life at Point Nemo is near zero. The absence of nearby land means no nutrients are blown into these waters, rendering them barren for fish or aquatic mammals. However, in its tenacity, life clings on near underwater volcanoes around Point Nemo, where bacteria thrive, subsisting on minerals.
What did we learn today?
While the allure of Point Nemo lies in its isolation and the mysteries surrounding it, it’s essentially a spot with little to observe. The world brims with myriad destinations worth exploring – places that are not just accessible but also abound in experiences. Point Nemo stands as a testament to the vastness of our planet and the lengths humanity will go to explore every nook and cranny.