Posts Tagged With: world

I Love The Whole World


I love the ocean… and you? What do you love?

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Photos That Changed The World


[LIFE]

Anne Frank 1941

Six million Jews died in the Holocaust. For many throughout the world, one teenage girl gave them a story and a face. She was Anne Frank, the adolescent who, according to her diary, retained her hope and humanity as she hid with her family in an Amsterdam attic. In 1944 the Nazis, acting on a tip, arrested the Franks; Anne and her sister died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen only a month before the camp was liberated. The world came to know her through her words and through this ordinary portrait of a girl of 14. She stares with big eyes, wearing an enigmatic expression, gazing at a future that the viewer knows will never come.

Photographer Unknown

 

Dead on the Beach 1943

When LIFE ran this stark, haunting photograph of a beach in Papua New Guinea on September 20, 1943, the magazine felt compelled to ask in an adjacent full-page editorial, “Why print this picture, anyway, of three American boys dead upon an alien shore?” Among the reasons: “words are never enough . . . words do not exist to make us see, or know, or feel what it is like, what actually happens.” But there was more to it than that; LIFE was actually publishing in concert with government wishes. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was convinced that Americans had grown too complacent about the war, so he lifted the ban on images depicting U.S. casualties. Strock’s picture and others that followed in LIFE and elsewhere had the desired effect. The public, shocked by combat’s grim realities, was instilled with yet greater resolve to win the war.

 

Biafra 1969

When the Igbos of eastern Nigeria declared themselves independent in 1967, Nigeria blockaded their fledgling country-Biafra. In three years of war, more than one million people died, mainly of hunger. In famine, children who lack protein often get the disease kwashiorkor, which causes their muscles to waste away and their bellies to protrude. War photographer Don McCullin drew attention to the tragedy. “I was devastated by the sight of 900 children living in one camp in utter squalor at the point of death,” he said. “I lost all interest in photographing soldiers in action.” The world community intervened to help Biafra, and learned key lessons about dealing with massive hunger exacerbated by war-a problem that still defies simple solutions.

 

Birmingham 1963

For years, Birmingham, Ala., was considered “the South’s toughest city,” home to a large black population and a dominant class of whites that met in frequent, open hostility. Birmingham in 1963 had become the cause célèbre of the black civil rights movement as nonviolent demonstrators led by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. repeatedly faced jail, dogs and high-velocity hoses in their tireless quest to topple segregation. This picture of people being pummeled by a liquid battering ram rallied support for the plight of the blacks.

Nagasaki 1945

Nothing like the mushroom cloud had ever been seen, not by the general public. It was a suitably awesome image for the power unleashed below. On August 6 the first atomic bomb killed an estimated 80,000 people in the Japanese city of Hiroshima. There was no quick surrender, and three days later a second bomb exploded 500 meters above the ground in Nagasaki. The blast wind, heat rays reaching several thousand degrees and radiation destroyed anything even remotely nearby, killing or injuring as many as 150,000 at the time, and more later. As opposed to the very personal images of war that had brought the pain home, the ones from Japan that were most shocking were those from a longer perspective, showing the enormity of what had occurred.

Breaker Boys1910

What Charles Dickens did with words for the underage toilers of London, Lewis Hine did with photographs for the youthful laborers in the United States. In 1908 the National Child Labor Committee was already campaigning to put the nation’s two million young workers back in school when the group hired Hine. The Wisconsin native traveled to half the states, capturing images of children working in mines, mills and on the streets. Here he has photographed “breaker boys,” whose job was to separate coal from slate, in South Pittston, Pa. Once again, pictures swayed the public in a way cold statistics had not, and the country enacted laws banning child labor.

South of the DMZ 1966

Contrary to the constraints that were put upon the press in subsequent conflicts, and even to the embedded program used in the recent Iraqi war, correspondents and photographers in Vietnam could, as Walter Cronkite wrote in LIFE, “accompany troops to wherever they could hitch a ride, and there was no censorship . . . That system—or lack of one—kept the American public well informed of our soldiers’ problems, their setbacks and their heroism.” Reaching Out is a quintessential example of the powerful imagery that came out of Vietnam. “The color photographs of tormented Vietnamese villagers and wounded American conscripts that Larry Burrows took and LIFE published, starting in 1962, certainly fortified the outcry against the American presence in Vietnam,” Susan Sontag wrote in her essay “Looking at War,” in the December 9, 2002, New Yorker. “Burrows was the first important photographer to do a whole war in color—another gain in verisimilitude and shock.” Burrows was killed when the helicopter he was riding in was shot down over Laos in 1971.

The Crimean War 1855

A British solicitor with an artistic bent, Roger Fenton took up the paintbrush and then, after seeing photography on display at the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park in 1851, the camera. Fenton shot landscapes and portraits, and pictures of Queen Victoria’s children at Windsor Castle in 1854. The next year, he was assigned by a print dealer to cover the Crimean War, being waged by England and France against Russia. Thus the war became the first conflict with any substantial photographic record. Battling cholera and broken ribs, lugging his developing lab on a horse-drawn carriage, Fenton produced 350 images. They are stately and sedate for war photography, since neither the queen nor Fenton’s sponsors wanted to see carnage or any evidence of a war that was progressing badly.

Cuban Missile Crisis 1962

On October 22, 1962, after accusing the U.S.S.R. of installing nuclear missiles on Cuba, President John F. Kennedy ordered a blockade of the island. When the Soviet ambassador to the U.N. refused to deny the charge, U.S. ambassador Adlai Stevenson confronted him with these photos of missile sites taken by the high-flying spy plane, the U-2, and the Soviets were compelled to back down. The presentation of seemingly incontrovertible evidence would become known as an “Adlai Stevenson moment.” Robert F. Kennedy later admitted that he and his brother found the grainy images quite baffling, and banked on the interpretation proffered by the CIA: “I, for one, had to take their word for it.”

Cuban Missile Crisis 1962

This photograph. taken on November 10, 1962 (from less than 500 ft. altitude at a speed of 713 mph). Clearly shown are Soviet-built SA-2 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) in place at launch sites. It is claimed that this was President Kennedy’s favorite photo of the installations, and was mounted in the oval office. He used this photo to demonstrate the nature of the threat that the offensive weapons provided. The pattern of dots surrounding the sites are claimed to be camouflage nets..

Michael Dukakis, 1988 – Another Landmark Image

After Gary Hart was photographed with a model (no, not his wife) in 1988 on a boat dubbed Monkey Business, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis became the Democrat’s choice to run for President against George Bush. At a General Dynamics plant in Michigan, the Duke wanted to show he was no softie on defense, so took a spin in a tank. Compared with the dashing WWII pilot Bush, the little Dukakis came off a clown, and the photo op blew up in his face.

Earthrise 1968

The late adventure photographer Galen Rowell called it “the most influential environmental photograph ever taken.” Captured on Christmas Eve, 1968, near the end of one of the most tumultuous years the U.S. had ever known, the Earthrise photograph inspired contemplation of our fragile existence and our place in the cosmos. For years, Frank Borman and Bill Anders of the Apollo 8 mission each thought that he was the one who took the picture. An investigation of two rolls of film seemed to prove Borman had taken an earlier, black-and-white frame, and the iconic color photograph, which later graced a U.S. postage stamp and several book covers, was by Anders.

Execution of a Viet Cong Guerrilla 1968

With North Vietnam’s Tet Offensive beginning, Nguyen Ngoc Loan, South Vietnam’s national police chief, was doing all he could to keep Viet Cong guerrillas from Saigon. As Loan executed a prisoner who was said to be a Viet Cong captain, AP photographer Eddie Adams opened the shutter. Adams won a Pulitzer Prize for a picture that, as much as any, turned public opinion against the war. Adams felt that many misinterpreted the scene, and when told in 1998 that the immigrant Loan had died of cancer at his home in Burke, Va., he said, “The guy was a hero. America should be crying. I just hate to see him go this way, without people knowing anything about him.”

Betty Grable 1942

World War II took American boys to far-flung places and some rough duty. For many, mail came infrequently at best, and at times it held only a Dear John letter. The troops were desperate for some link to home, some reminder of what they were fighting for. Betty Grable and her million-dollar legs were the perfect balm for what ailed ’em, and this 1942 pinup of the easygoing girl with oodles of back-home charm, and other assets, made the war seem a little more bearable. Sexy pinups later grew to poster size, perhaps most memorably in the endlessly reproduced portrait of Farrah Fawcett.

Johnson Is Sworn In 1963

Lyndon Baines Johnson takes the presidential oath of office on November 22 as Air Force One carries his wife, Lady Bird, Jacqueline Kennedy and several White House aides back to Washington from Dallas. Earlier, President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated, and the speed with which this ceremony was arranged—and the photo released—was purposeful. Johnson and his advisers wanted to assure a shocked nation that the government was stable, the situation under control. Images from the Zapruder film of the shooting, which would raise so many questions, would not be made public for days.

Kent State 1970

When President Richard Nixon said he was sending troops to Cambodia, the nation’s colleges erupted in protest. At Kent State some threw rocks. The Ohio National Guard, called in to quell the turmoil, suddenly turned and fired, killing four; two were simply walking to class. This photo captured a pivotal moment: American soldiers had just killed American kids. Student photographer John Filo won the Pulitzer; the event was also memorialized in a Neil Young song and a TV movie. The girl, Mary Ann Vecchio, turned out not to be a Kent State student, but a 14-year-old runaway. She was sent back to her family in Florida.

Hazel Bryant – Another Landmark Image

It was the fourth school year since segregation had been outlawed by the Supreme Court. Things were not going well, and some southerners accused the national press of distorting matters. This picture, however, gave irrefutable testimony, as Elizabeth Eckford strides through a gantlet of white students, including Hazel Bryant (mouth open the widest), on her way to Little Rock’s Central High.

Clarence Hailey Long, 1949 – Another Landmark Image

This is C.H. Long, a 39-year-old foreman at the JA ranch in the Texas panhandle, a place described as “320,000 acres of nothing much.” Once a week, Long would ride into town for a store-bought shave and a milk shake. Maybe he’d take in a movie if a western was playing. He said things like, “If it weren’t for a good horse, a woman would be the sweetest thing in the world.” He rolled his own smokes. When the cowboy’s face and story appeared in LIFE in 1949, advertising exec Leo Burnett had an inspiration. The company Philip Morris, which had introduced Marlboro as a woman’s cigarette in 1924, was seeking a new image for the brand, and the Marlboro Man based on Long boosted Marlboro to the top of the worldwide cigarette market.

Lynching 1930

A mob of 10,000 whites took sledgehammers to the county jailhouse doors to get at these two young blacks accused of raping a white girl; the girl’s uncle saved the life of a third by proclaiming the man’s innocence. Although this was Marion, Ind., most of the nearly 5,000 lynchings documented between Reconstruction and the late 1960s were perpetrated in the South. (Hangings, beatings and mutilations were called the sentence of “Judge Lynch.”) Some lynching photos were made into postcards designed to boost white supremacy, but the tortured bodies and grotesquely happy crowds ended up revolting as many as they scared. Today the images remind us that we have not come as far from barbarity as we’d like to think.

Migrant Mother 1936

This California farmworker, age 32, had just sold her tent and the tires off her car to buy food for her seven kids. The family was living on scavenged vegetables and wild birds. Working for the federal government, Dorothea Lange took pictures like this one to document how the Depression colluded with the Dust Bowl to ravage lives. Along with the writing of her economist husband, Paul Taylor, Lange’s work helped convince the public and the government of the need to help field hands. Lange later said that this woman, whose name she did not ask, “seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me.”

Galloping Horse 1878

Was there a moment midstride when horses had all hooves off the ground? Leland Stanford, the railroad baron and future university founder, bet there was—or at least that’s the story. It was 1872 when Stanford hired noted landscape photographer Eadweard Muybridge to figure it out. It took years, but Muybridge delivered: He rigged a racetrack with a dozen strings that triggered 12 cameras. Muybridge not only proved Stanford right but also set off the revolution in motion photography that would become movies. Biographer Rebecca Solnit summed up his life: “He is the man who split the second, as dramatic and far-reaching an action as the splitting of the atom.”

Pigeon House and Barn 1827

As early as 1793, Frenchman Nicéphore Niépce and his brother Claude imagined a photographic process, and over the next several years, Nicéphore experimented with various light-sensitive substances and cameras. In 1824 he produced a view from his window on a metal plate covered with asphalt. That and most other pictures fashioned by Niépce in the 1820s no longer exist, but the fuzzy image of a pigeon house and a barn roof taken in the summer of 1827 is a good representation of Niépce’s art. To make what he called a “heliograph,” or sun drawing, Niépce employed an exposure time of more than eight hours. Photography, if not yet practical, had been invented.

How Life Begins 1965

In 1957 he began taking pictures with an endoscope, an instrument that can see inside a body cavity, but when Lennart Nilsson presented the rewards of his work to LIFE’s editors several years later, they demanded that witnesses confirm that they were seeing what they thought they were seeing. Finally convinced, they published a cover story in 1965 that went on for 16 pages, and it created a sensation. Then, and over the intervening years, Nilsson’s painstakingly made pictures informed how humanity feels about . . . well, humanity. They also were appropriated for purposes that Nilsson never intended. Nearly as soon as the 1965 portfolio appeared in LIFE, images from it were enlarged by right-to-life activists and pasted to placards.

Promontory Point 1869

The ceremony begins on May 10, 1869, as an eastbound Central Pacific locomotive and a westbound Union Pacific locomotive meet in Promontory Point, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. The men on the cowcatchers are ready to toast the driving of the golden spike. The work had been brutal. At one stage, efforts to tunnel through the marble spine of a Sierra Nevada mountain consumed an entire year, as only eight inches a day of progress was possible. So: a fabulous accomplishment. But this is also an early example of a photo op—the use of a picture as a means to an end. Folks back East could see, plain as day, that a train could take them all the way to California, where businessmen anxiously awaited their commerce.

Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire 1911

The Triangle Shirtwaist Company always kept its doors locked to ensure that the young immigrant women stayed stooped over their machines and didn’t steal anything. When a fire broke out on Saturday, March 25, 1911, on the eighth floor of the New York City factory, the locks sealed the workers’ fate. In just 30 minutes, 146 were killed. Witnesses thought the owners were tossing their best fabric out the windows to save it, then realized workers were jumping, sometimes after sharing a kiss (the scene can be viewed now as an eerie precursor to the World Trade Center events of September, 11, 2001, only a mile and a half south). The Triangle disaster spurred a national crusade for workplace safety.

Tiananmen Square 1989

A hunger strike by 3,000 students in Beijing had grown to a protest of more than a million as the injustices of a nation cried for reform. For seven weeks the people and the People’s Republic, in the person of soldiers dispatched by a riven Communist Party, warily eyed each other as the world waited. When this young man simply would not move, standing with his meager bags before a line of tanks, a hero was born. A second hero emerged as the tank driver refused to crush the man, and instead drove his killing machine around him. Soon this dream would end, and blood would fill Tiananmen. But this picture had shown a billion Chinese that there is hope.

Flight 1903

On December 17, 1903, two bicycle mechanics from Ohio realized one of humanity’s wildest dreams: For 12 seconds they were possessed of true flight. Before the day ended, Orville and Wilbur Wright would keep their wood-wire-and-cloth Flyer aloft for 59 seconds. Sober citizens knew that only birds used wings to take to the air, so without being at the site, near Kitty Hawk, N.C., or seeing this photo, few would have believed the Wrights’ story. Although it had taken ages for humans to fly, once the brothers made their breakthrough, the learning curve reached the heavens. Within 15 years of this critical moment, nearly all the elements of the modern airplane had been imagined, if not yet developed.

First Human X-ray 1896

To know something like the back of your hand is a timeless concept, one taken yet further by Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen. While working on a series of experiments with a Crookes tube, he noticed that a bit of barium platinocyanide emitted a fluorescent glow. He then laid a photographic plate behind his wife’s hand (note the wedding rings), and made the first X-ray photo. Before that, physicians were unable to look inside a person’s body without making an incision. Roentgen was the recipient of the first Nobel Prize for Physics in 1901.

Which photo changed you?

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Top 10 Most Remote Places in the World


[Toptenz]

Thanks to modern technology and air travel, the world is forever becoming a smaller place. Where journeys from one continent to another once took months, they now take hours, and sometimes it seems like there is nowhere left for a would-be adventurer to really get away from it all. Still, if you have the time, money, and know-how, there are still some places off the map—or just barely on it—that remain shrouded in mystery simply by virtue of being really difficult to reach. Whether mining camps at the top of the world, or tiny islands thousands of miles from civilization, the following are the top 10 most remote places left on planet Earth.

10. Easter Island

 

Located some 2,000 miles west of the Chilean Coast, Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, is a tiny island that has become famous for its remarkable isolation in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. It is relatively small, measuring roughly seventy square miles in size, and is today home to around 4,000 people. The island has become well known for the massive rock sculptures called Moai that dot its beaches. They were carved sometime around the year 1500 by the island’s earliest inhabitants, and it has been said that the massive wood sleds needed to transport them from one place to another are a big part of what led to the almost total deforestation of Easter Island. Scientists have argued that the island was once lush and tree-covered, but today it is relatively barren, a feature that only adds to the sense of sheer isolation that is said to overtake most first-time visitors. When the first settlers migrated to the island, the journey took several weeks, but today there is a small airport (reportedly the most remote in all the world) that carries passengers to the island by way of Santiago, Chile.

9. La Rinconada, Peru

 

For sheer inaccessibility, few locations in South America compare to La Rinconada, a small mining town in the Peruvian Andes. Located nearly 17,000 feet above sea level, La Rinconada is considered the “highest” city in the world, and it is this stunning geography that makes it so desolate. The city is located on a permanently frozen glacier, and can only be reached by truck via treacherous and winding mountain roads. Just reaching the city takes days, and even then altitude sickness, combined with the shantytown’s deplorable condition, means that few people can handle living there for long. Still, the town is said to have as many as 30,000 inhabitants, almost all of whom are involved in the business of mining gold, which is extracted from beneath the ice inside nearby caverns. In addition to its remoteness, La Rinconada has gained a dubious reputation as a destination for poor and desperate workers, many of whom work the mines for free in exchange for the right to keep a small percentage of the gold ore they find.

8. McMurdo Station, Antarctica

 

Located literally at the bottom of the world, Antarctica is easily one of the most remote places on the face of the Earth. There are no native inhabitants to the continent, but there are several research centers constantly in operation there, and of these McMurdo Station is the largest. Located on Ross Island near the northern tip of the continent, the almost perpetually frozen station is a center of international research, and is home to as many as 1,200 scientists and workers during the warmer summer months. It’s one of the most desolate locations on the planet, but although McMurdo is as far from a major city as any location in the world, even it is no longer as backwater as it used to be. Trips by boat to Antarctica once took months, sometimes even years, but McMurdo’s three airstrips have helped make the region a much less remote destination than before. Thanks to this, the scientists at the station now enjoy many of the modern amenities found in major cities, including gyms, television, and even a nine-hole Frisbee golf course.

7. Cape York Peninsula, Australia

 

Australia is known both for its extremely low population density and untouched natural beauty, both of which are best exemplified by Cape York, Peninsula, a huge expanse of untouched wilderness located on the country’s northern tip. The region has a population of only 18,000 people, most of whom are part of the country’s aboriginal tribes, and it is considered to be one of the largest undeveloped places left in the world. This helps contribute to its stunning natural beauty, but it also makes Cape York about as difficult to reach as any destination in Australia. The peninsula has become a popular destination for adventurous tourists, who drive jeeps and trucks down the unpaved Peninsula Development Road whenever it isn’t closed due to flooding during the rainy season. But even with 4-wheel drive trucks, many of the more heavily overgrown parts of Cape York Peninsula are completely inaccessible, and some regions have still only been surveyed by helicopter. Photo: http://www.abc.net.au

 

6. Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland

 

At 836,000 square miles in size, Greenland is the world’s largest island, but its tiny population of 57,000 people means that it’s also the most desolate. And of all the towns in Greenland, perhaps none is as remote (or as difficult to pronounce) as Ittoqqortoormiit, a small fishing and hunting village located on the island’s eastern shore, to the north of Iceland. The town is part of a municipal district roughly the size of England, but it has a population of only slightly more than 500 people, meaning that each person technically has more than 150 square miles to call their own. Residents make their living off of hunting polar bears and whales, which are prevalent in the area, and by fishing for Halibut during the warmer months. Ittoqqortoormiit lies on the coast, but the seas surrounding it are almost perpetually frozen, leaving only a three-month window when the town is easily accessible by boat. There is an airport some 25 miles away, but flights are rare. For the most part, the town, one of the northernmost settlements in the world, is completely isolated in the vastness of the tundra. Photo: http://dlareh.blogspot.com

 

5. Kerguelen Islands

 

Also known as the “Desolation Islands” for their sheer distance from any kind of civilization, the Kerguelen Islands are a small archipelago located in the southern Indian Ocean. There is no airstrip on the islands, and to get to them travelers must take a six-day boat ride from Reunion, a small island located off the coast of Madagascar. The islands have no native population, but like Antarctica, which lies several hundred miles south, the Kerguelens have a year-round population of scientists and engineers from France, which claims them as a territory. The islands do have something of a storied past, and since they were first discovered in 1772 they have been visited by a number of different biologists and explorers, including Captain James Cook, who made a brief stop on the archipelago in 1776. Today the island is primarily a scientific center, but it also holds a satellite, a French missile defense system, and even serves as a sort of refuge for a particular type of French cattle that has become endangered on the mainland.

4. Pitcairn Island

 

Pitcairn Island is a tiny speck of land located nearly dead in the center of the southern Pacific Ocean. Its closest neighbors are the Gambier Islands and Tahiti to the West, but even these are several hundred miles away. The island, which is the last remaining British territory in the Pacific, has a standing population of some fifty people, many of whom are descended from crewmembers of the famed HMS Bounty. In 1789, the Bounty was the setting for a now-legendary mutiny, when crewmembers enchanted by the idyllic life of the native Pacific islanders overthrew their commander, burned their ship in a nearby bay, and settled on Pitcairn. Today, the descendants of those sailors mostly make their living off of farming, fishing, and selling their extremely rare postage stamps to collectors, but even with modern transportation they still remain one of the most isolated communities in the world. There is no airstrip on the island, and getting there from the mainland requires hopping a ride on a shipping boat out of New Zealand, a journey that can take as long as ten days.

 

3. Alert, Nunavut, Canada

 

Located in Canada on the tip of the Nunavut territory, Alert is a small village that lies on the Arctic Ocean only 500 miles below the North Pole. It is widely considered to be the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world (with a whopping five year-round residents), and also one of the most inhospitable. Temperatures in Alert, which also serves as a Canadian radio receiving facility and a weather laboratory, can get as low as 40 degrees below zero, and because of its location at the top of the Earth, the camp alternates between 24-hour sunlight during the summer and 24-hour darkness during the winter. The nearest town to Alert is a small fishing village some 1,300 miles away, and you would have to travel nearly twice that distance to reach major cities like Quebec. Because of its military function, Alert does have an airport, but because of weather it is often unusable. In 1991, a C-130 aircraft crashed there when its pilot misjudged his altitude and brought his plane down 19 miles short of the runway. 4 people died in the crash, and another perished while waiting for a rescue party, which took nearly 30 hours to make the short journey to the site because of a blizzard.

2. Motuo County, China

 

Considered the last county in China without a road leading to it, Motuo is a small community in the Tibetan Autonomous Region that remains one of the few places in Asia still untouched by the modern world. Just getting to Motuo is a Herculean task, as travelers must follow a grueling overland route through frozen parts of the Himalayas before crossing into the county by way of a 200-meter-long suspension bridge. The county is renowned for its beauty—Buddhist scripture regards it as Tibet’s holiest land—and it is said to be a virtual Eden of plant life, housing one-tenth of all flora in China. Despite its stunning geography and natural resources, Motuo still remains something of an island unto itself. Millions of dollars have been spent over the years in trying to build a serviceable road to it, but all attempts have eventually been abandoned because of mudslides, avalanches, and a generally volatile landscape. As the story goes, in the early 90s a makeshift highway was built that led from the outside world into the heart of Mutuo County. It lasted for only a few days before becoming un-passable, and was soon reclaimed by the dense forest. Photos: http://news.cultural-china.com

 

1. Tristan da Cunha

 

The single most remote inhabited place in the world, Tristan de Cunha is an archipelago of small islands located in the southern Atlantic Ocean. The nearest land to the island is South Africa, which is roughly 1,700 miles away, while the South American coast lies at a distance of about 2,000 miles. Despite its tiny size and astonishing isolation, Tristan de Cunha has enjoyed a rich history. The island was first discovered in 1506 by a Portuguese explorer, and was later annexed by the British, who feared the French might use it as a point of departure to rescue Napoleon, who had been exiled to nearby St. Helena. A small group of British, Italian, and American settlers began living on the island in the 1800s, and it is still under the U.K.’s jurisdiction today. The islands now have a total population 271 people, most of whom are descended from those original settlers and make their living as farmers and craft makers. Although the island now has some television stations and access to the internet via satellite, it is still the most physically isolated location on planet earth. The island’s rocky geography makes building an airstrip impossible, so the only way to travel to it is by boat. It was once regularly connected to South Africa by a British transport ship, but this vessel has since stopped calling on the island, and outside of the occasional cargo vessel, now the only visitors to Tristan da Cunha are deep sea fishing boats.
Read more: http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-most-remote-places-on-planet-earth.php#ixzz1loE6IpNw

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