- There are a handful of places around the world that are largely untouched or uninhabited.
- Although researchers have explored some parts of Antarctica, only aerial photos reveal what the rest of the continent and remote region is like.
- Several mountains in Himalayan country Bhutan are believed to be unconquered, namely the world’s largest unclimbed mountain:Gangkhar Puensum.
- Unexplored areas around the world also include small islands, such as Pitcairn Island off of New Zealand, and Palmerston Island in the South Pacific.
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There’s a great wide world out there, and odd as it may seem, there are some spots that have yet to be tainted by tourists or human explorers.
From a “desert” island in the Canadian Arctic – used by NASA for research because it mimics the extreme conditions of Mars – to an unconquered mountain in the Himalayas, here are some of the most fascinating unexplored places on Earth.
Pitcairn Island is located 3,300 miles from New Zealand, and no plane or helicopter has ever landed there.
The island is known as a British Overseas Territory, and its government is situated in New Zealand. It’s also considered to be one of the least-populated territories in the world, with about 50 residents in 2018.
A photographer who has visited the island previously told Insider that when Pitcairn’s inhabitants need medical attention, they must go to New Zealand or Fiji, and sometimes are unable to return to Pitcairn for weeks or even months.
The Southern Namib, part of the Namib Desert, is one of the driest places on Earth and is largely unexplored.
The Namib Desert in Africa is estimated to be one of the world’s oldest deserts. Its Southern Namib region is described by the World Wildlife Fund as being largely unexplored, though it’s believed to not have much vegetation.
Surtsey, a volcanic island off of Iceland, has only ever been open to researchers.
The island of Surtsey, located off the southern coast of Iceland, was formed from volcanic eruptions that occurred between 1963 and 1967, according to UNESCO.
Surtsey has only ever been open to highly trained scientists, according to Atlas Obscura. UNESCO also described the island as being free from human interference.
Son Doong Cave in Vietnam’s Nha-Ke Bang National Park dates back to prehistoric times and was only rediscovered in 2008.
According to CNN Travel, the cave was first discovered in 1990, but its original location was lost and not found again until 2008 by two researchers from the British Caving Research Association.
Son Doong Cave is known as the world’s largest natural cave, as it’s believed to have been formed 3 million years ago. In 2013, it was opened to the public for the first time.
North Sentinel Island, part of the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean, has remained virtually untouched.
A tribe of indigenous people, known as the Sentinelese, are believed to inhabit the remote island. In 2018, the island gained attention when an American missionary was reportedly killed while there on a religious mission trip.
While some documentary film crews, anthropologists, and researchers have visited the island in the 1960s and ’70s, not much else is known about North Sentinel.
Vale do Javari is an isolated Amazonian village near Brazil’s border with Peru.
In August 2018, the National Indian Foundation, a Brazilian government agency also known as FUNAI, released a video showing aerial footage from a drone of members of a tribe in Vale do Javari.
The video, shared by The New York Times, contained what is believed to be the first look at the remote tribe, which had no known contact with the outside world.
The world’s tallest unclimbed mountain is Gangkhar Puensum.
Gangkhar Puensum stands at 24,981 feet above the ground, according to the BBC. It’s believed to have never been conquered, but in 1994, prospective climbers were barred from ever attempting to reach the top of the mountain, as the government closed it to climbers.
The BBC reported that all peaks in Bhutan that were higher than 19,800 feet were closed that same year out of respect for local spiritual beliefs.
Palmerston is a remote island in the South Pacific that’s visited by a supply ship only a couple times a year.
Palmerston Island, described by the BBC as “one of the most isolated island communities in the world,” is visited by a supply ship twice a year. It’s part of the island group known as the Cook Islands, which are connected by a coral reef.
Due to its hard-to-access location – it requires a plane trip to Tahiti, then a boat from Tahiti to the island – Palmerston is rarely visited by outsiders, and it’s the only island in the group that is known to be inhabited.
The Cook Islands are also connected by a coral reef that is difficult for many boats to see, which has made for shipwrecks over the years, according to the BBC.
Antarctica is a continent that’s mostly uninhabited and filled with unexplored areas.
Most scientists and researchers who spend time in Antarctica inhabit areas around research stations because the extreme landscape is largely unlivable.
Photos taken by NASA equipment capture the uninhabited areas of Antarctica and the Arctic region.
Devon Island, located off of Canada, is described by NASA as a “polar desert,” and is the largest uninhabited island on Earth.
Ice-covered Devon Island is situated in the Canadian Arctic. With its extreme temperatures and conditions, no human being has inhabited the island since the 1930s or 1940s, according to Condé Nast Traveller’s Ken Jennings.
Devon Island is, however, used for research by NASA. The island is said to have conditions that mimic those of Mars, so NASA teams have tested equipment and space suits on Devon before using them on the red planet.
Greenland is a destination that’s largely untouched.
Patricia Schultz, author of New York Times bestseller “1,000 Places To See Before You Die,” told Insider’s Sophie-Claire Hoeller that Greenland could become an increasingly popular destination as it becomes more accessible.
“It’s very similar to Iceland, it’s very northern but less developed,” Schultz said of Greenland.
The Salween River is one of Southeast Asia’s longest rivers, and it’s believed to have undiscovered parts.
The Salween River extends into China, Burma, and Thailand.
More than 10 million people live in the river’s basin, according to the Research Program on Water, Land, and Ecosystems, part of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. However, the organisation reports that much is still unknown about the Salween River.
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