Find out which spot on the planet is the closest to outer space, which hard-to-reach landmark will take your breath away, and more fascinating destination spots!
The Steepest Peak on Earth: Mount Thor, Nunavut, Canada
At 1,675 metres tall, Mount Thor is not the world’s highest peak, but it is the steepest. The most famous summit in Canada and made of pure granite, Mount Thor has a 1,250 metre vertical drop, at an average angle of about 105 degrees. Despite the fact the mountain is in a remote area, it’s a popular destination for avid mountain climbers. If taking on the peak is too much for you to handle, you can also visit the site and camp out instead.
The Coldest Inhabited Place on Earth: Oymyakon, Russia
As the coldest inhabited place on earth (with a recorded temperature of -71.2 degrees C in 1924), the small Russian town of Oymyakon, with a population of 500, was once only used as a location for political exiles. Winter temperatures average at about -50 degrees C, which has a serious effect on body function. The ground is permanently frozen all year long and the town currently has only one hotel. Popular sports include skiing, ice hockey and ice fishing.
The Driest Place on Earth: Atacama Desert, Chile
You’ll definitely need the right kind of sunscreen if you plan on travelling through this desert. According to both NASA and National Geographic, the Atacama Desert in Chile has soil comparable to that of Mars. (Fun fact: Mars scenes from the television series Space Odyssey: Voyage To The Planets were filmed here.) From October 1903 to January 1918, the Atacama Desert did not see so much as one drop of rain, making it the longest rainless period in the world’s recorded history. Sparsely populated, the Atacama Desert has several hotels to choose from that cater to tourists who come to explore the land.
The Closest Place to Outer Space: Mount Chimborazo, Ecuador
Most humans will never visit outer space, so our best option is going to Mount Chimborazo. An inactive volcano that last erupted in approximately 550 AD, Mount Chimborazo stands at over 6,000 metres high. While Mount Everest is over 8,000 metres tall, due to the position of the mountain on the earth’s surface the peak of Mount Chimborazo is the furthest spot from the centre of the earth. That also means that standing on it will put you closest to outer space than man can ever reach on foot. Its peak is completely covered by glaciers, but this mountain has several routes for climbers.
The Most Isolated Place on Earth: Tristan da Cunha, United Kingdom
Looking for a getaway from the everyday? Forget these popular island getaways; this is about as far away from it as you can get. Though formally part of the British Overseas Territory, Tristan da Cunha is over 2,816 kilometres away from the nearest land in Africa. Discovered by Portuguese explorer Tristão da Cunha in 1506, the island is home to fewer than 300 inhabitants and has no airport; Tristan da Cunha is accessible only by sea.