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Link - article by Avi and Rachel Abrams

Where would you exile an inept leader who ruined your country?

Probably as far away as possible! Short of launching him into space, consider this island - the most remote inhabited location on the planet. There are other distant places, but they are uninhabited, mostly barren and unexciting - but here life is established in a very British way, so our world-leader-in-exile would not mess it up so easily, one hopes.

(images credit: 1, 2)

Tristan da Cunha, the Loneliest Island on Earth

When Napoleon was sent to St. Helena by the British, they annexed the closest chain of islands to prevent the French from attempting to rescue him. After all, who wouldn't travel a mere 2430 km over rough and hostile seas in order to rescue the Emperor himself? Yes, that's right, the islands of Tristan Da Cunha closest neighboring land mass, the island of St. Helena, is 2430 km away.

The island is so small that cartographers can't even put it on their maps (not enough resolution). Located in the South Atlantic between Africa and South America, this volcanic outcropping has the honor of being the remotest inhabited island on the planet, and that's including Antarctica and the North Pole. One of the islands in the archipelago is called "Inaccessible", which only seems appropriate, together with their motto: "Our faith is our strength"

Maps Courtesy of Jean-Pierre Langer of Monaco

Capital: Edinburgh of the Seven Seas
Language: English, Population - barely 300 people.
Religions: Christianity (Anglican and Roman Catholic)
Monetary Unit: Pound Sterling (GBP)

(images credit: Manuel Bauer)

Tristan Da Cunha is home to a population of 270 very isolated people, with an economy based in the fishing industry. The climate is sub-tropical, with very little variation in temperature from season to season, and it would probably be a pleasant place to stay... if there were more arable land: the only sort-of level bit of land is located at the northwestern edge of the island, and the rest is moutainous and rocky.

(images credit: Peter Balwin and Sue Scott)

The group of islands is a huge volcanic formations which rose out of the South Atlantic about a million years ago. They are located on the edge of the caldera of the very active volcano! In 1961 a cone near the town, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, began to erupt and the whole community was evacuated to England. After 2 years, an investigation was conducted and it was found that damage was minimal and the residents were allowed to return.

(photos courtesy Rob Crossan & Simon Dunston and Sue Scott)

The islanders frequently face the full wrath of Atlantic storms: the gusts of wind of almost 190km per hour once were so strong that they swept the grazing cows and sheep from the fields and into the ocean... Think about looking out of your window and seeing woefully mooing bovines sailing past... perishing in the waves...

Refreshment - away from the maddening crowds

Islands of Refreshment, this is how self-proclaimed ruler (remember our little "despot" joke in the beginning?) Jonathan Lambert called these islands in 1811. "Lambert declared himself sovereign and sole possessor of the island group", but he did not last long, as he drowned while fishing a year later.

And here are the "refreshments" - Genuine Tristan Lobster Tails - the tastiest in the world!

(image credit: Roland Svensson)

"The island now boasts a convenience store, a radio station (broadcasting the World Service four days a week), a cafe, a video shop and a swimming pool. Tristan is now connected to the world by one telephone and a fax machine in the Administrator's office, and is visited once a year by the only mail ship in the world, the RMS St. Helena. This ship brings not only mail, but canned food, videos, books and magazines, medical items, and the occasional visitor." (source)

(images credit: sthelena.se)

(images credit: Manuel Bauer)

(images credit: Rob Crossan)

"Unemployment on Tristan is almost unknown, with both girls and boys guaranteed jobs when they leave school, even if posts have to be specially created for them. In recent times, girls have increasing started to continue their education (usually at St. Helena) - young women are increasingly becoming an intellectual elite on the island."

(images credit: sthelena.se)

Here is another kind of native: yellow-nosed albatross chick -

(photo courtesy Sue Scott)

and you might recognize this character ( Northern rock-hopper penguin, made popular by "Surf's Up" animated movie ) - 90% of the world population breed on Tristan:

(photo courtesy Sue Scott)

For an intrepid explorer of "abandoned & haunted places", there is something as well
- the whole abandoned and grounded oil rig!

(photo courtesy Sue Scott)

For the list of other remotest uninhabited places, visit this page.




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Blogger The Nag said...

Right about now a remote tropical island looks pretty good to me. I enjoyed this post.

Anonymous KaiserTroll said...

Wonder how much it would cost to buy and renovate this kind of old rig. It would be great to live in such a place :p

Blogger Carrie said...

Looks like a cool place to visit!

Blogger Soleh said...

Hey, get me to all that nice place.-smile-

Blogger mikemetelnick said...

You can see it on Google satellite maps, very high resolution actually.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

is the island of LOST!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely fascinating! I want to go there, as I'm sure many others do too. It's best we don't though as it'd get ruined pretty quickly. I'm glad there are sites like this to learn from.

Blogger Dan said...

Back before Mac OS X, the Macintosh operating system had a Map control panel. If you typed "Middle of nowhere" in the text box and hit Enter, the map cursor would land on Tristan da Cunha.

Anonymous skier dude said...

It's a paradise.. I would love to visit the island. Hope I can do it one day..

Blogger Michael said...

anyone know the coordinates?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

37° 6'18.90"S

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the Easter Island?
How remote is that?

Blogger doreen said...

I am from St Helena! Everyone should see this place!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is, in fact, a fantastic world!...The island was first sighted in 1506 by a Portuguese sailor, Tristão da Cunha, but he didn´t land due to high clifs all arround the island. I just can imagine what these explorers, such as Livingstone and Magellan (Magalhães), may wonder when they discover places like this. Imagine you start hearing some distant but intense noise in middle of inexplored jungle in Central Africa and finally get a first sight of the Victoria Falls... Feel so envy!

Blogger MarkD60 said...

I looked on Google Earth, but couldn't find the oil rig.
Those islands look like my kind of place, wonder if they have a radio station!

Blogger MarkD60 said...

They DO have a radio station! Wonder if they need a broadcast engineer!?!?

Blogger Andre2812 said...

Great post, very interesting. Thanks

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abandoned oil rig; nice! The responsible company who abandoned it should dismantle it.

Yeah, let's to that to the Artic refuge in Alaska!

Anonymous Fern said...

I would live there... no problems! Would mean going back a few decades in technology, but id find a way to bring some wind turbines to get me enough electricity to run a few luxuries

Blogger Chad said...

Why are there no trees? It isn't that far south.

Anonymous mbondr said...

This is not the remotest place on earth. Go to Google Earth and find this island. Now pan back. You'll notice a little green baloon a bit down and to the right.

Anonymous lauren said...

dammit, someone beat me to the punch. i was going to say "craphole island!".

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the zombie outbreak happens, this is where i will move. hehehe

Anonymous Jeff said...

If I'm ever featured on America's Most Wanted, this is the place I would run to!

Looks like a cool place to visit, but how long and where would you stay? I didn't read anything about an airport, and even the South Pole gets mail more often than once a year.

I wonder how the diving is?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any attractive women there?

Blogger delorayn1 said...

Tristan da Cunha is not the most remote island in the world! Bouvet is!

Tristan da Cunha is the most remote archipelago in the world.

Blogger retrogamer said...

I'd love to go urban exploring on that oil rig.

Blogger Avi Abrams said...

That oil rig demands its own post.... let us know if you'd get more pictures!

Anonymous Dandy said...

Right about now a remote tropical island looks pretty good to me. I enjoyed this post.

Anonymous dorothy said...

Wonderful posting, really !

Blogger Brie said...

Great post, I wish there were more pictures and meet some people from the island. How much would a boat trip be and how long would it take? Thanks again.

Anonymous Gibi said...

Any attractive women there??

Blogger ronin1770 said...

would love to visit one of these places

Blogger Matt said...

I thought that that oil rig would be the coolest place in the world to live. Then I found this.
Oh Noes! Oh well... Nothing lasts forever.

Anonymous William Wallace said...

Looks like an amazing place to visit, but I couldn’t handle it for more than a couple of weeks, unless there were lots of beautiful virgins.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been here! I was sailing across the Atlantic and stopped here for about six hours. It is a fascinating place, I have never seen anything like it. the people are incredibly friendly, and their homes can become a restaurant or a doctor's office whenever the need arises! I visited the school and the kids love to play soccer. We were careful to not buy out the tiny supermarket when we were there-only one chocolate bar per person! the surrounding landscape is also quite beautiful. Very remote, and a long lasting memory!

Anonymous jim jones said...

Right about now I would love to send my wife there, on a one way ticket.lol. Seriously, what an amazing place.

Anonymous SoZa said...

Amazing! it kinda makes me want to visit. Simply to see how it must feel to be sooo remote.

Anonymous Tourism on the Edge said...

wow, nice review
and a hell of a site, congrats!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm from a place not as remote but once shrouded in as much mystery. We have been transformed over the years from a small piece of "escape to paradise" to a busy, bustling, almost completely urban and modern comopolitan destination. The current generation thinks they are living the life. (But)It's a shame for the next generation and a heartbreak for the last one.

Anonymous Milan said...

Great photos... How do you get there?

Anonymous BikeQuest said...

What a beautiful place. And for the rock-hopper penguin - Nice hair!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oil rig was disposed of in February 2007.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This island is a drain on the British economy. It should be decolonised like other former British possessions. Sovereignty could be transferred to Brazil and it could become a Special Adminstrative Island of Brazil i.e. it could have Home Rule with Brazil only in charge of defence and foreign relations. The islanders could keep their British passports or take up Brazilian passports. The islanders could be given free college and university education in Brazil (and free transport annually) as part of the tranfer of sovereignty deal.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What utter nonsense people post on here, if only they check the facts first before making stupid comments like 'It is a drain on resources' Fact: Tristan is and has always been self-sufficient through philately (stamp collecting to the morons on here) and the export of rock lobsters caught in abundance around the islands. What utter nonsense to suggest it's annexed by Brazil, it's British owned for God's sake. One other point, it's the remotest inhabited island in the world, not place. Neither is it tropical, it's too far south and is temperate with a high annual rainfall and almost constant strong winds due to it's location in the infamous Roaring Forties, lot's of ships have floundered here. Having been married to an islander for 35 years, yes she is beautiful, I have extensive knowledge of Tristan and it annoys me when ignorant people post stupid remarks with no regard for the facts. For those interested there is a website with lots of information regarding the island, it's people and history: tristandc.com


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