• The furthest point from land, also known as the “oceanic pole of inaccessibility”.
  • Since its official title is a bit of a mouthful, it has been nicknamed Point Nemo, after author Jules Verne’s famous seafaring anti-hero Captain Nemo. The name means “no-one” in Latin, which is fitting for a place so rarely visited by people.
  • Point Nemo is located over 1,000 miles (1,600km) equidistantly from the coasts of three far-flung islands. Ducie Island (one of the Pitcairn islands) is to the north, Motu Nui (of the Easter Island chain) is to the north-east and Maher Island (off the coast of Antarctica) is to the south.
  • It is a rather peculiar place.
  • The oceanic pole of inaccessibility was officially discovered in 1992 by survey engineer Hrvoje Lukatela.
  • Point Nemo is so far from land, the nearest humans are often astronauts.
  • The International Space Station orbits the Earth at a maximum of 258 miles (416km). Meanwhile the nearest inhabited landmass to Point Nemo is over 1,670 miles (2,700km) away.
  • In fact the whole region around Point Nemo is well known to space agencies.
  • The area is officially known to space agencies as the “South Pacific Ocean Uninhabited Area”.
  • In particular, the Russian, European and Japanese space agencies have long used it as a dumping ground, because it is the point on the planet with the fewest human inhabitants and the quietest shipping routes.
  • the region is so isolated from land masses, the wind does not carry much organic matter.
  • As a result, there is little to feed anything. With no material falling from above as “marine snow”, the seafloor is also lifeless. D’Hondt describes it as “the least biologically active region of the world ocean.”
  • Point Nemo is near the southern end of the East Pacific Rise, a submarine line of volcanic activity that stretches up to the Gulf of California.
  • It marks the boundary of the Pacific and Nazca tectonic plates, which are gradually moving apart. Magma wells up in the gap between the plates, creating hydrothermal vents that blast out hot water and minerals.
  • It is an extreme environment, but bacteria thrive here, gaining their energy from chemicals released by the eruptions. In turn, the bacteria sustain larger creatures. These include the “yeti crab”, which was first observed in 2005 and named for its hairy appearance.


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