CLOSE
Pitcairn Island. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Pitcairn Island. Image creditWikimedia Commons // Public Domain

The World’s Most Difficult (and Impossible) Places to Reach

Pitcairn Island. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Pitcairn Island. Image creditWikimedia Commons // Public Domain

It’s easy to take modern air travel for granted. Before a lack of legroom and Wi-Fi ranked among our top complaints, globetrotters had to hunker down for trips lasting upwards of 40 days if they wished to leave the continent. While most locations on the opposite side of the globe can be reached in less than a day now, there are still plenty of places that require an epic trek.

This video from the YouTube channel RealLifeLore highlights some of the world’s most difficult destinations. The list includes remote islands without airports, like the Kerguelen Islands in the Indian Ocean and Pitcairn Island in the Pacific, as well as treacherous mountaintops. Mount Everest may be the highest summit on Earth, but it’s hardly the least accessible. Gangkhar Puensum in Bhutan is in the running for that title: Thrill-seekers are banned from climbing the mountain by the government. For more out-of-the-way destinations that are actually inhabited by people, check out our list of the most isolated towns on Earth.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Courtesy of Sotheby's
arrow
History
Found: A Rare Map of Australia, Created During the 17th Century
Courtesy of Sotheby's
Courtesy of Sotheby's

More than 40 years before Captain James Cook landed on Australia’s eastern coast in 1770, renowned Dutch cartographer Joan Blaeu created an early map of the Land Down Under. Using geographical information gleaned from Dutch navigator Abel Tasman in the 1640s, it was the first map to include the island state of Tasmania and name New Zealand, and the only one to call Australia “Nova Hollandia.”

Very few copies—if any—of the 1659 map, titled Archipelagus Orientalis (Eastern Archipelago), were thought to have survived. But in 2010, a printing was discovered in a Swedish attic. After being restored, the artifact is newly on display at the National Library of Australia, in the capital city of Canberra, according to news.com.au.

The seller’s identity has been kept under wraps, but it’s thought that the map belonged to an antiquarian bookseller who closed his or her business in the 1950s. For decades, the map sat amidst other papers and books until it was unearthed in 2010 and put up for auction.

The National Library acquired the 17th century wall map in 2013 for approximately $460,000. After a lengthy restoration process, it recently went on display in its Treasures Gallery, where it will hang until mid-2018.

As for other surviving copies of the map: a second version was discovered in a private Italian home and announced in May 2017, according to Australian Geographic. It ended up selling for more than $320,000.

[h/t news.com.au]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
geography
What's the Difference Between a Lake and a Pond?
iStock
iStock

Around 71 percent of the Earth's surface is covered in water, which is why geographers have coined so many names to describe the forms it takes. But what’s the real difference between, say, a lake and a pond, a spring and an oasis, or a creek and an arroyo?

Vox gets granular with geography in the video below, explaining the subtle distinctions between everything from a bay (a part of an ocean, surrounded by water on three sides) to a barachois (a coastal lagoon, separated from the ocean by a sand bar). The five-minute explainer also provides maps and real-life examples, and describes how certain bodies of water got their names. (For example, the word geyser stems from geysa, meaning "to gush.")

Guess what? A geyser is also a type of spring. Learn more water-based trivia—and impress your nature-loving friends the next time you go camping—by watching the video below.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER