As the year 2016 comes to a close it’s time to reflect on the major events that helped changed the world, for better or worse.
There was the Olympics at Rio de Janeiro, which showed us just how angry Michael Phelps face could be; a presidential election where Trump profiled an entire country (but don’t worry, he assumes some are good people); and last but certainly not least, 5,300 employees at Wells Fargo are fired for creating phony accounts.
You may have heard the saying when the going gets tough, the tough get going. For the really tough people out there, here are 15 remote locations to escape from this crazy thing we call life.
|Wilfred Paluse | Flickr|
Vale Do Javari, BrazilDeep in the Amazon jungle, 14 uncontacted tribes live autonomously from Brazilian government control. An estimated 3,000 indigenous people live in complete isolation protected by a federal agency from all outside invasions. You could try to visit, but it might not end very well.
|Aamir Choudhry | Flickr|
Baltoro Glacier, PakistanAt 63 miles long, the Baltoro Glacier is visible even from space. K-2 rises as the highest peak in the chain at 8611 meters (2nd highest in world). 9 other peaks in the Baltoro Glacier grace the world’s top 100 highest mountains.
|Denis Budkov | russiatrek.org|
Kamchatka, RussiaHome to over 1,000 different species of plants, the Kamchatka Peninsula reigns supreme as a world largely untouched by human forces. Thousands of black bear, reindeer, snow sheep, and wolverines roam free. Besides plant and animal life, Kamchatka is home to the largest active volcano in the northern hemisphere.
Chang Tang, Tibet
|Achilli Family | Flickr|
Afar Depression, Ethiopia
Off the eastern coast of Africa sits one of the hottest regions on earth. The Danakil Depression hosts a climate almost entirely devoid of rain. During the hottest summer months temperatures can reach 118 °F. Erta Ale, an active shield volcano in the Afar Depression, contains the longest existing lava lake in the world.
The Afars, nomadic people living in the region, mine salt from the many salt deposits in the region for a living.
Cave of Swallows, Aquismón, San Luis Potosí, MexicoWhile probably not a good destination for a first date, the Cave of Swallows is a dream come true for BASE jumpers. This pit cave boasts the largest known cave shaft in the entire world with a 1,214 ft drop from the highest side. In other worlds, the Empire State building could fit safely inside this behemoth of a cave.
|sunriseOdyssey | Flickr|
Gobi DesertStretching its wings over 2 different countries, the Gobi desert is 1600 kilometers from NW to SW. Famous for the reign of the unstoppable Mongolian Empire, this desert continues to change and evolve over time.
While currently the world’s 5th largest desert, due to desertification the Gobi Desert continues to grow as it penetrates the grasslands of China. Only 5% of the desert is covered in sand dunes, and depending upon the time of the year you may even find snow due to vast changes in elevation.
Svalbard, NorwaySituated halfway between Norway and the North Pole, thousands of polar bears actually outnumber the inhabitants of Svalbard, Norway.
The climate is fairly moderate compared to surrounding areas, reaching a scorching 42.8°F in the summer. Travelers who visit in the summer may be lucky enough to see a light show put on by the aurora borealis (the only thing more colorful is the homes in Longyearbyen).
Barrow, AlaskaBarrow gains its claim to fame from being the northernmost city in the US. Once a year the sun sets and does not rise for about 2 months, making this town the perfect vacation getaway for those who love long naps.
The sun continues to tease residents during these 2 months known as the polar night with a few hours a day where the sun is just below the horizon.
Motuo, ChinaMotuo was the last county without road access in China. When authorities tried building a road in 1993 they failed terrifically. The jungle eventually engulfed the road.
Full of lush vegetation and dense jungle, more than 3,000 plant species and 42 rare animals call Motuo home.
|NASA | Flickr|
A recent exploration party left a time capsule at the top of the highest peak on Bouvet Island containing visions for the year 2062. Who needs a Mayan calendar when you have a time capsule predicting the future buried on the most remote island on earth?
Area 51The US government finally acknowledged Area 51 existed in 2003. As a remote extension of Edwards Air Force Base in southern Nevada, Area 51 serves as a testing ground for experimental aircraft and weaponry.
|Chris&Steve | Flickr|
Tristan da Cunha, South Atlantic OceanTristan da Chuna is the most remote inhabited island in the world. With a population of 270 permanent residents, this archipelago is perfect for those who love that small town feel. Because of the island's rocky geography, the only way to visit is by fishing boat.
Antarctic Pole of InaccessibilityThe term “pole of inaccessibility” literally means a point on land furthest from any ocean in any direction. In 1958 the Soviet Union attempted to construct a research station at the Antarctic Pole of Inaccessibility but failed miserably. You know what they say though. If at first you don’t succeed, plant a giant statue of revolutionary communist Vladimir Lenin and get out of town.