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Geography: Did You Know There’s a Place in the Pacific Ocean Called Point Nemo Where the Closest Humans Are Often Astronauts on the ISS?

In the vast expanse of the South Pacific Ocean lies a point so isolated it has earned the nickname “Point Nemo.” This is the oceanic pole of inaccessibility – the place in the ocean farthest from any landmass. It’s a watery testament to the sheer size of our planet.

Point Nemo: A Definition

Point Nemo gets its name from Captain Nemo, the enigmatic submarine commander in Jules Verne’s “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.” The Latin word ‘Nemo’ means “no one,” a fitting moniker for this desolate spot. Its coordinates are approximately 48°52.6′S 123°23.6′W.

Unparalleled Isolation

The nearest landmasses to Point Nemo are over 1,670 miles (2,688 kilometers) away:

  • Ducie Island (part of the Pitcairn Islands) to the north.
  • Motu Nui (an islet near Easter Island) to the northeast.
  • Maher Island off Antarctica to the south.

Closer to Space

The International Space Station (ISS) orbits Earth at an altitude of about 250 miles. When the ISS passes over Point Nemo, the astronauts on board are actually closer to this remote oceanic spot than any other humans on the planet!

A Marine Desert

Point Nemo’s extreme remoteness makes it a biologically sparse area. The ocean currents in this region prevent nutrient-rich waters from reaching the surface, leading to limited marine life.

Spacecraft Graveyard

Due to its isolation, Point Nemo serves as a designated ‘spacecraft cemetery.’ Decommissioned satellites, space stations, and other space debris are often guided to crash-land in this area, minimizing the risk to populated regions.

The Allure of the Remote

Point Nemo might be devoid of bustling life, but it holds a strange fascination. It’s a reminder of our planet’s vastness and the unexplored frontiers that still exist, even in our well-mapped world.

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<a href="https://englishpluspodcast.com/author/dannyballanowner/" target="_self">Danny Ballan</a>

Danny Ballan

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Danny is a podcaster, teacher, and writer. He worked in educational technology for over a decade. He creates daily podcasts, online courses, educational videos, educational games, and he also writes poetry, novels and music.

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