Sunday, April 3, 2022

Bouvet island, The most remote point in the world

The Island of Bouvet is a small Norwegian frozen islet in the south of the Atlantic Ocean known to be the most remote point in the world!

The closest point to the island is the uninhabited region of Queen Maud Land in Antarctica, located 1700 km away. The closest inhabited settlements are the English archipelago of Tristan da Cunha at 2260 km and the southernmost end of South Africa at about 2200 km.

The island of Bouvet is uninhabited because it is an inhospitable place covered by perennial ice. Moreover, the island is practically inaccessible, as it has no natural ports. The only way to reach it is to land offshore and use smaller boats. Nevertheless, the island is occasionally reached by groups of scientists.

Despite being one of the most remote points in the world, Bouvet Island has twice been the protagonist of the international news. The first time in 1964 when a British icebreaker discovered an abandoned lifeboat perfectly preserved in the ice of the island, with supplies on board but no traces of people. The lifeboat remained a mystery for some time, until it was discovered that it had been used in 1958 by some Soviet scientists who landed on the island where they were stranded due to bad weather. The scientists were rescued by helicopter, but the lifeboat remained stranded until it was found by the British eight years later.

On September 22, 1979, Bouvet Island returned to prominence when an American Vela satellite appeared to record a nuclear explosion near the island. To this day, the nature of the event has not been clarified, whether it was a test conducted in secret by Israel or South Africa or whether it was a false signal recorded by the satellite Vela. It has been suggested that the satellite’s glare could have been caused by a micrometeorite impacting the satellite’s sensor and generating a signal very similar to that of an explosion.

Credit: NASA-Johnson Space Center.

 

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