Wanderlust-Inspiring Photos of the Most Remote Places on the Planet

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Sometimes, you just have to get far, far away, get into a car/train/plane, and not look at anyone you know for a long, long time. But you can’t. And so, we have assembled a few photos of the most remote, faraway spots imaginable. Torture yourself with views of exotic trees and gorgeous, untouched nature. See the places that cannot be reached by roads. Go to the highest city in the world. Hide yourself behind miles and miles of snow, desert, and snowy desert. Be a virtual hermit for awhile. Get lost in this little slideshow.

Image credit: WNYC Radio

This is Socotra, Yemen. The main island of a remote archipelago in the Indian Ocean, it’s so isolated that a third of its plant life is unique to the location. The last two thousand years of human settlement have reduced the plant/fauna variety, because people always ruin everything. Oh, man, those trees though! That’s it. Let’s go shoot a movie there right now!

Image credit: Wikipedia

This is the most remote island in the world. Norway’s uninhabited Bouvet Island in the South Atlantic Ocean is basically an inactive volcano stuffed with ice and some wintry terrain sprinkled in fancy fungi, lichen, and moss, with snow on top. It’s empty, isolated, private… no wonder it’s a popular breeding ground for seabirds. Baum chicka baum baum.

Image credit: Wikipedia

You know this one. Easter Island, the Polynesian one in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, one of Earth’s most remote inhabited islands, home to the legendary moai statues from the early Rapanui people. Its population has survived famines, civil war, slavery, diseases, environmental exploitation, and an epidemic of statue toppling. It has the most remote airport in the planet — the Mataveri International, which only has one runway — but it also has a national football team and three discos. Yey?

The McMurdo Station in Antarctica is at the bottom of the globe. Cold. Remote. Way out there. It has the continent’s only ATM, and its biggest community: 1,258 people. It’s a science research center, but most of the residents aren’t scientists. Werner Herzog wants you to get your hopes up and believe that you can go be an artist there, and it’s magical, all wintry and gorgeous and removed and inspiring. Damn you, Werner Herzog!

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Motuo in the southeastern edge of Tibet is relatively untouched. It’s the “Lotus Holy Land” according to the Tibetan Buddhist scripture. Because you can’t drive there, because it’s the only county in China not connected to a main highway, because it’s way out — and that’s so seductive in concept — it’s a prime trekking target.

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But if you really want to get away, go to Siberia, specifically the Koryak Okrug, a desolate area that has a population density of 0.1 people per square kilometer. But you might run into Werner Herzog again. Herzog!!!

Image credit: Tim O’Reilly

Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, Australia is at its most northernmost point, a tropical land, populated with locals of Aboriginal descent and very light on tourists. It’s unspoilt, vast, blooming, brimming with life. A third of Australian mammals and half of Australian bird species live here, like this one, wow. It’s one of the last unspoilt wild places on Earth. OK, maybe you shouldn’t got there. Leave it alone.

Image credit: NASA/Kathryn Hansen

Let’s bring it home, kind of. Barrow, Alaska is one of the northernmost cities in the US, conveniently located right on the Arctic Ocean. Wow, this is beautiful, isn’t it? You could stare at this ice-shard-riddled seascape forever. And you can. There’s ice on the shore all year, and very few people. Enjoy the silence and the sounds of iceberg crackling.

Image credit: Image by Albert Gonzales Farran

The town of La Rinconada, Peru is 17,000 feet above sea level. If you want to live in the highest city on Earth, go right ahead, hotshot. Hope you like mining for gold, mercury poisoning, unpaved roads and complete lack of sanitation, and plumbing systems.

Image credit: Wikipedia

Well, there’s always the International Space Station. Look how lovely everything looks, passing from south of Madagascar to north of Australia. Check out that light show. And you were complaining you couldn’t get a good view of the fireworks this year. How about this, huh? Oh, you’re not an astronaut you say? Well, you can always save up for a room at the Russian Space Hotel.