Point Nemo: The Point in the Ocean Farthest From Land

If you’ve ever traveled by ship, sailboat, or even surfboard, you know you don’t have to get too far out from shore to feel completely isolated. If that’s not good enough for you, you might try checking out Point Nemo, which is literally located in the middle of the ocean. This spot in the Pacific, also known as the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility, is farther from land than anywhere else on Earth.

How far? About 1450 nautical miles. The point lies at the exact center of a triangle formed by three tracts of dry land: Ducie Island, in the Pitcairns; Moto Nui, in the Easter Islands; and Antarctica’s Maher Island. The designation of the spot itself is relatively new; we didn’t have the mapping and geotargeting technology to locate it until 1992.

The point was named after Jules Verne’s submarine Captain Nemo—a Latin name that also happens to mean “no one.” Which is exactly what you’ll find there. On the surface, anyway.

But were you to board Captain Nemo’s (fictional) Nautilus and sink to the sea floor, you’d find a different (fictional) landscape altogether—a “nightmare corpse-city,” in fact. For the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility is also the home of H.P. Lovecraft’s eldritch god Cthulhu.

Image Credit: Nojhan via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Lovecraft placed the dread city of R’lyeh on the map long before Point Nemo was identified, yet he managed to throw his cartographic dart spookily close to the future landmark. On this map, you can see Lovecraft’s point at 47°9'S 126°43'W. His publisher August Derleth had his own ideas, and located the green, slimy vaults of R’lyeh at 49°51'S 128°34'W. Lovecraft’s approximation was closer, but there’s no reason to quibble. There are monsters and terrible deities enough to go around.

And sure, maybe there aren’t really Lovecraftian beasts smearing their prey across the sand. But there’s something down there. Five years after Point Nemo was identified, oceanographers in the region recorded one of the most puzzling sounds in the history of natural science: the Bloop. This ultra-low-frequency sound was too big and low to be made by the biggest known creature in the ocean, the blue whale. Lovecraft fans were gleeful: the Old Gods were stirring. Unfortunately for them (and fortunately for the rest of us), the Bloop was eventually identified as the sound of a continent coming apart, as an ice shelf cracked and split from Antarctica. 

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Here Are the Colleges In Each State With the Best Job Placement Rates

In a tough economic climate, kids trying to figure out where to go to college might be more concerned with their future job prospects than the on-campus party scene. This graphic from the career search site Zippia, spotted by Thrillist, provides a surprising look at the universities that boast the highest post-graduation job placement rates in each state.

Zippia looked at job placement ratings from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), a collection of surveys from the National Center for Education Statistics that any college or university that gets federal funding has to complete. (That includes private universities.) The company ranked universities based on their job placement ratings for students 10 years after graduation.

Here's what the results look like across all 50 states:

A yellow map of the U.S. labeled with the college that boasts the highest job placement rate in each state

Some of the institutions on the list may be colleges you’ve never heard of. While prestigious universities like Vanderbilt University in Tennessee might be familiar, other entries are more obscure. The highest job placement rate for a college in Massachusetts isn’t from Harvard—it’s Endicott College, a school near Salem with about 2500 undergraduates.

These are the 10 colleges with the highest job placement rates across all 50 states, according to Zippia’s analysis. Each school has a job placement rate of more than 95 percent 10 years after graduation.

1. Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania
2. Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island
3. Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio
4. Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon
5. Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York
6. University of Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls, North Dakota
7. University of Wisconsin – Platteville in Platteville, Wisconsin
8. Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts
9. Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska
10. Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut

That said, it's not entirely clear what kind of employment is covered by this data. It's possible that some of the graduates included aren't working in their desired field 10 years on or are otherwise underemployed but still working full time. The jobs these graduates have may have nothing to do with their major or what they studied in school. And since Zippia looked at data from people who graduated 10 years ago, that means the company likely looked at 2008 graduates, who left college at the height of the recession and may not have had a lot of great job options, potentially skewing the data toward very specialized schools, like Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (the top choice in both Arizona and Florida).

The full list is below.

A list of the top colleges for job placement in each state

[h/t Thrillist]

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What America's Average Take-Home Pay Looks Like Compared to Other Countries

When you look at how much money people make around the world, salaries can only show part of the picture. In practically every country, workers give up a chunk of their paycheck to the government. So after taxes, which citizens get to hold onto the biggest slice of their pie? These graphics from the company relocation program CapRelo lay it out, analyzing what people making the average wage in a number of countries can expect to pay in taxes each year.

A map of the percentage of the average wage in each country that goes toward taxes

The countries with the highest tax rates in the world can all be found in Europe. In Belgium, workers give up 45 percent of the average wage, while in Sweden, they pay 52 percent, and in Denmark, they pay 56 percent. But not every nation on the continent follows this trend. In Switzerland, employees making the average wage pay just 2 percent in taxes, one of the lowest rates in the world. The only citizens that pay less are in India and Saudi Arabia, where the tax rates are 0 percent.

Lower taxes don't necessarily equal bigger paychecks. Though Denmark pays the most taxes, the average take-home salary ($28,227) is still higher than it is in Saudi Arabia ($21,720) and India ($1,670). But workers in Switzerland enjoy the biggest wages after taxes by far, with an average take-home salary of $84,006. The runner-up is the U.S., with an average take-home salary of $52,344.

A graph showing average salaries versus take-home pay

Of course, these figures don't take the cost of living into account. Citizens paying less in taxes are often forced to spend that money on benefits they would receive from the government in other countries. In Switzerland, for example, you have to pay to drive on motorways, while in the U.S., most highways are maintained using government funds. Meanwhile, the U.S. is one of the few developed nations that doesn't offer universal healthcare. And while Swedes may pay a lot in taxes, thanks to generous government subsidies, they also pay some of the world's lowest rates for childcare. So make sure you consider all the factors before picking a new place to live based on tax rate.

[h/t CapRelo]


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