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  • There are a lot of places that don't have any people like here, and here, but also here.

  • Now, people live here, in Antarctica, and people live here, on the continents, but basically

  • nobody lives between here and herein the Southern Ocean.

  • That's not only because the amphibious human update isn't out yet but also because barely

  • anyone lives on the few islands there are here.

  • But not only does practically nobody live here but practically nobody even goes here.

  • Here's a map of the world's air traffic and here's a map of the world's maritime

  • traffic.

  • Nobody lives here, nobody goes here, it's more isolated than the north pole, and it's

  • more desolate than Antarctica.

  • If you have something to hide this is the place for it and maybe that's why a few

  • countries put at least a moderate amount of effort into holding onto these few pieces

  • of land in the Southern Ocean.

  • One country in particular lays claim to the most isolated piece of land on earth.

  • Despite their isolation, though, believe it or not, there are some islands in the Southern

  • Ocean that actually do have people.

  • Here's South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands—a little bit of Britain in the southern

  • ocean.

  • Just because these islands are British doesn't mean that they're filled with cheap beer,

  • emotional repressiveness, and bad political decisions because these islands are almost

  • completely deserted.

  • They were claimed by James Cook, you know, the guy who claimed everything, and they were

  • or are used for 1) asserting British dominance, 2) killing wales, 3) killing fish, and 4)

  • making stamps.

  • You know that bit of a war Argentina and Britain had in the Falklands, the Falklands War, well

  • they had this cool little side war in these islands which Argentina won but eventually

  • 132 British commandos and a small assortment of warships kindly asked the Argentinians

  • to leave.

  • Eating whale and burning whale oil was once popular until it wasn't and this was a good

  • area to catch whale so there were actual, real towns here that looked like this but

  • now look like this.

  • When a country has territory they get the rights to fish in the waters 200 nautical

  • miles from its coastline and so nowadays around these islands British people and people who

  • pay the British fish for fish that look like this, this, and this.

  • Lastly, stamp collectors are into stamps from places that are only sort of real so they

  • spend good money to buy stamps from these islandsenough so that there's a whole

  • wikipedia page about it.

  • Now, time to zoom out because the waters between here and here and actually a pretty international

  • place.

  • You've got some Kiwi islands, a smattering of Australian ones, a spattering of South

  • African ones, a sprinkling of British ones, a scattering of French ones, and for some

  • strange reason two Norwegian ones.

  • Now, this is strange because Norway does not fall into one of the two main categories herecountries

  • that are close to the Southern Ocean and countries that colonized half the world.

  • Norway's only territories are Svalbard, Jan Mayen island, Peter I island, and Bouvet

  • island—a small, uninhabited volcanic island a full 8,000 miles away from Oslo.

  • The nearest bit of land is Gough Island, a British possession 1,000 miles away, making

  • Bouvet island the most remote place on earth.

  • No piece of land is further from another piece of land.

  • The island was first found by a Frenchman who subsequently lost it but then it was found

  • again by a Brit who claimed it but then almost a century later some Norwegians came along,

  • built a hut, raised a flag, and decided the island was theirs.

  • Of course the British fundamentally disagreed with the idea that anyone could just show

  • up, plant a flag, and decide land was theirs but the British stopped fighting for the island

  • after a while once they realized that for one, the island was worthless, and two, that

  • they weren't actually sure if they owned the island since the person who claimed it

  • wasn't 100% sure which island he landed on.

  • History has revealed that the person who claimed it definitely was on Bouvet island since there

  • isn't another island for literally more than a thousand miles but, nonetheless, that's

  • how Bouvet became Norwegian.

  • The most exciting thing to ever happen near the island was two big flashes of light in

  • 1979.

  • They were detected near the island by an American surveillance satellite and the consensus opinion

  • nowadays, not the conspiracy theory, is that this was a joint South-African Israeli nuclear

  • test.

  • This is, of course, interesting since still today Israel will neither confirm nor deny

  • having nukes but that's beside the point.

  • What's more interesting is that this area of the world was so deserted that still today

  • we're not completely sure whether that double flash of light was or wasn't a nuclear explosion.

  • It's so deserted that you can seemingly set off a nuke without anyone noticing.

  • Still today, humans only step foot on Bouvet Island every few years.

  • Unlike most other Southern Ocean islands, there is and has never been a long term settlement

  • on Bouvet.

  • The whole landmass is covered in ice and snow so there's really nowhere to build a settlement.

  • Even if there was dry land to build a settlement it's incredibly hard to land a boat on Bouvet

  • as the seas are quite rough so the main way to get on is by launching a helicopter from

  • a nearby ship.

  • Norway just keeps the island since it doesn't really take much effort to hold onto the territory

  • and it gives the country some fishing rights.

  • Given everything, for all those reasons, unless there's significant climatic change, Bouvet

  • will likely remain one of the least visited and the most isolated place in the world.

  • If I were stranded on Bouvet island the three things I would bring would be skis to shred

  • the gnar, Batman, and an iPad with the Skillshare app.

  • That's of course because Skillshare's app lets you download classes offline which

  • can teach you how to create firein Blender, how to make a Boatdrawing, and how to

  • build a homerecording studio.

  • Skillshare has over 20,000 classes so if there's something you want to learn, whether it be

  • how to launch a freelance career or how to edit with Premiere, Skillshare probably has

  • a class on it.

  • What's more, you can take any one of these 20,000 classes for free and build up your

  • skills for two whole months by signing up for Skillshare at skl.sh/hai15 and you'll

  • be supporting the show while you're at it.

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Bouvet Island: The Most Isolated Piece of Land on Earth

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    Samuel posted on 2018/10/08
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