Extreme points of Earth

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This is a list of extreme points of Earth, the geographical locations that are farther north or south than, higher or lower in elevation than, or farthest inland or out to sea from, any other locations on the landmasses, continents or countries.

For other lists of extreme points on Earth, including places that hold temperature and weather records, see Extremes on Earth, Lists of extreme points, and List of weather records.

Earth[edit]

Latitude and longitude[edit]

Elevation[edit]

Highest points[edit]

Chimborazo in Ecuador is the farthest point from Earth's center.
  • The highest point on Earth's surface measured from sea level is the summit of Mount Everest on the border of Nepal and China. While measurements of its height vary slightly, the elevation of its peak is usually given as 8,848 m (29,029 ft) above sea level. It was first reached by Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Sherpa of Nepal Tenzing Norgay in 1953 (with speculation that it may have been reached in 1924).
  • The point farthest from Earth's center is the summit of Chimborazo[3] in Ecuador, at 6,384.4 km (3,967.1 mi) from Earth's center; the peak's elevation relative to sea level is 6,263.47 m (20,549 ft).[note 2] This is because Earth is an oblate spheroid rather than a perfect sphere; it is wider at the Equator and narrower between the poles. Therefore, the summit of Chimborazo, which is near the Equator, is farther away from Earth's center than the summit of Mount Everest is; the latter is 2,168 m (7,112.9 ft) closer, at 6,382.3 km (3,965.8 mi) from Earth's center. Peru's Huascarán (at 6,768 m (22,205 ft)) contends closely with Chimborazo, the difference in the mountains' heights being just 23 metres (75 ft).
  • The fastest point on Earth or, in other words, the point furthest from the axis of Earth is the summit of Cayambe[5] in Ecuador, at 1,675.89 km/h (1,041 mph) and 6,383.95 km (3,967 mi) from the axis. Like Chimborazo, which is the fourth fastest peak at 1,675.47 km/h (1,041 mph), it is close to the Equator and takes advantage of the oblate spheroid figure of Earth. More importantly, however, it being so near the Equator means that the majority of its distance from Earth's center goes into it being away from the axis. The importance of latitude becomes most apparent when one looks at the Challenger Deep (speed of 1,639.15 km/h (1,019 mph)) compared to Mount Everest (speed of 1,481.67 km/h (921 mph)).
Highest points attainable by transportation[edit]
  • The highest point accessible...
    • ...by land vehicle is an elevation of 6,688 m (21,942 ft) on Ojos del Salado in Chile, which was reached by the Chilean duo of Gonzalo Bravo G. and Eduardo Canales Moya on 21 April 2007 with a modified Suzuki Samurai, setting the high-altitude record for a four-wheeled vehicle.
    • ...by road (dead end) is on a mining road to the summit of Aucanquilcha in Chile, which reaches an elevation of 6,176 m (20,262 ft). It was once usable by 20-tonne mining trucks.[6] The road is no longer usable. 21°12′50″S 68°28′30″W / 21.214°S 68.475°W / -21.214; -68.475
    • ...by road (mountain pass) is disputed; there are a number of competing claims for this title due to the definition of "motorable pass" (i.e. a surfaced road or one simply passable by a vehicle):
      • The highest asphalted road crosses Tibet's Semo La pass at 5,565 m (18,258 feet). It is used by trucks and buses regularly.[7] The Ticlio pass, on the Central Road of Peru, is the highest surfaced road in the Americas, at an elevation of 4,818 m (15,807 feet).
      • The highest unsurfaced road is claimed by several different roads. All are unsurfaced or gravel roads including the barely passable road to Umling La, 17 kilometres (11 mi) west of Demchok in Ladakh, India, which reaches 5,800 m (19,029 feet) ("19,300 feet" according to a Border Roads Organisation sign there that recognizes it as the "World's Highest Motorable Pass"),[8] and Mana Pass, between India and Tibet, which is crossed by a gravel road reaching 5,610 m (18,406 feet). The heavily trafficked Khardung La in Ladakh lies at 5,359 m (17,582 feet). A possibly motorable gravel road crosses Marsimik La in Ladakh at 5,582 m (18,314 feet).
    • ...by train is Tanggula Pass, located on the Qinghai–Tibet (Qingzang) Railway in the Tanggula Mountains of Qinghai/Tibet, China, at 5,072 m (16,640 feet). The Tanggula railway station is the world's highest railway station at 5,068 m (16,627 feet). Before the Qingzang Railway was built, the highest railway ran between Lima and Huancayo in Peru, reaching 4,829 m (15,843 feet) at Ticlio.[9]
    • ...by oceangoing vessel is a segment of the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal between the Hilpoltstein and Bachhausen locks in Bavaria, Germany. The locks artificially raise the surface level of the water in the canal to 406 m (1,332 feet) above mean sea level, higher than any other lock system in the world, making it the highest point currently accessible by oceangoing commercial watercraft.
  • The highest commercial airport is Daocheng Yading Airport, Sichuan, China, at 4,411 m (14,472 feet).[10] The proposed Nagqu Dagring Airport in Tibet, China, if built, will be 25 m (82 feet) higher at 4,436 m (14,554 feet).
  • The highest helipad is Sonam, Siachen Glacier, India, at a height of 6,400 m (20,997 feet) above sea level.[11]
  • The highest permanent human settlement is La Rinconada, Peru, 5,100 m (16,732 feet), in the Peruvian Andes.
  • The farthest road from the Earth's center is the Road to Carrel Hut in the Ecuadorian Andes, at an elevation of 4,850 m (15,912 feet) above sea level and a distance of 6,382.9 km (3,966 miles) from the center of the Earth.[12]
Highest geographical features[edit]

Lowest points[edit]

Lowest artificial points[edit]
Lowest natural points[edit]
  • The lowest known point is Challenger Deep, at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, 11,034 m (36,201 feet) below sea level.[20] Only three humans have reached the bottom of the trench: Jacques Piccard and U.S. Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh in 1960 aboard the bathyscaphe Trieste, and filmmaker James Cameron in 2012 aboard Deepsea Challenger.
  • The lowest point underground is more than 2,000 m (6,600 feet) under the Earth's surface. For example, the altitude difference between the entrance and the deepest explored point (the maximum depth) of the Krubera Cave in Georgia is 2,191 ± 20 m (7,188 ± 66 feet). In 2012, Ukrainian cave diver Gennadiy Samokhin reached the lowest point, breaking the world record.[21]
  • The lowest point on land not covered by liquid water is the valley under the Byrd Glacier in Antarctica, which reaches 2,780 m (9,121 feet) below sea level.[22] It is, however, covered by a thick layer of ice.
The shore of the Dead Sea in Israel
  • The lowest point on dry land is the shore of the Dead Sea, shared by Jordan, Palestine, and Israel, 432.65 m (1,419 feet) below sea level. As the Dead Sea waters are receding, it loses some 100-120 cm every year.
  • The point on the surface closest to the Earth's center (interpreted as a natural surface of the land or sea that is accessible by a person) is the surface of the Arctic Ocean at the Geographic North Pole (6,356.77 km or 3,950 miles).
    • The closest point on the ground (interpreted as a land surface or sea floor) is the bottom of the Litke Deep, the deepest point of the Arctic Ocean, which is 6,351.61 km (3,947 miles) from the center of the Earth. By comparison, the bottom of the deepest oceanic trench in the world, the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, is 14.7 km (9 miles) farther from the center of the Earth.
Lowest points attainable by transportation[edit]
  • The lowest point accessible...
    • ...by road, excluding roads in mines, is any of the roads alongside the Dead Sea in Israel and Jordan, which are the lowest on Earth at 418 m (1,371 feet) below sea level.
      • The lowest undersea highway tunnel is the Eiksund Tunnel, in Norway, at 287 m (942 feet) below sea level.
    • ...by train, excluding the tracks inside some South African gold mines, which can be several thousand meters below sea level, is located in the Seikan Tunnel of Japan railroad, at 240 m (787 feet) below sea level. By way of comparison, the undersea Channel Tunnel between England and France reaches a depth of 75 m (246 feet) below sea level.

The lowest railroad station was the Japanese Yoshioka-Kaitei Station, at 150 m (492 feet) below sea level, but it was closed in 2014. The lowest railroad not inside a tunnel is 71 m (233 feet) below sea level, in the Mojave Desert between Yuma, Arizona, and Palm Springs, California, in the United States of America.[9]

Lowest cities[edit]

Baku is located 28 metres (92 ft) below sea level, which makes it the lowest lying national capital in the world and also the largest city in the world located below sea level.

Remoteness[edit]

Poles of inaccessibility[edit]

Each continent has its own continental pole of inaccessibility, defined as the place on the continent that is farthest from any ocean. Similarly, each ocean has its own oceanic pole of inaccessibility, defined as the place in the ocean that is farthest from any land.

Continental[edit]
If adopted, this would place the final EPIA roughly 130 km (81 miles) closer to the ocean than the point that is currently agreed upon.[23] Coincidentally, EPIA1, or EPIA2, and the most remote of the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility (specifically, the point in the South Pacific Ocean that is farthest from land) are similarly remote; EPIA1 is less than 200 km (120 miles) closer to the ocean than the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility is to land.
Oceanic[edit]

Other places considered the most remote[edit]

  • The most remote island is Bouvet Island, a small, uninhabited island in the South Atlantic Ocean that is a dependency of Norway. It lies at coordinates 54°26′S 3°24′E / 54.433°S 3.400°E / -54.433; 3.400 (most remote island). The nearest land is the uninhabited Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, over 1,600 km (994 mi) to the south. The nearest inhabited lands are Tristan da Cunha, 2,260 km (1,404 mi) away, and the coast of South Africa, 2,580 km (1,603 mi) away.
  • The title for most remote inhabited island or archipelago (the farthest away from any other permanently inhabited place) depends on how the question is interpreted. If the south Atlantic island Tristan da Cunha (population about 300) and its dependency Gough Island (with a small staffed research post), which are 399 km (248 mi) from each other, are considered part of the same archipelago, or if Gough Island is not counted because it has no permanent residents, then Tristan da Cunha is the world's most remote inhabited island/archipelago: the main island, also called Tristan da Cunha, is 2,434 km (1,512 mi) from the island Saint Helena, 2,816 km (1,750 mi) from South Africa, and 3,360 km (2,090 miles) from South America. It is 1,845 km (1,146 mi) away from uninhabited Bouvet Island. However, if Gough and Tristan da Cunha are considered separately, they disqualify each other, and the most remote inhabited island is Easter Island in the South Pacific Ocean, which lies 2,075 kilometres (1,289 mi) from Pitcairn Island (about 50 residents in 2013), 2,606 km (1,619 mi) from Rikitea on the island of Mangareva (the nearest town with a population over 500), and 3,512 kilometres (2,182 mi) from the coast of Chile (the nearest continental point). The Kerguelen Islands in the southern Indian Ocean are another contender, lying 1,340 kilometres (830 mi) from the small Alfred Faure scientific station in Île de la Possession, but otherwise more than 3,300 kilometres (2,100 mi) from the coast of Madagascar (the nearest permanently inhabited place), 450 km (280 mi) northwest of uninhabited Heard Island and McDonald Islands, and 1,440 km (890 mi) from the non-permanent scientific station located in Île Amsterdam.
  • The most remote city...
    • ...with a population in excess of one million from the nearest city with a population in excess of one million is Auckland, New Zealand. The nearest city of comparable size or greater is Sydney, Australia, 2,168.9 kilometres (1,347.7 mi) away.[26]
    • ...with a population in excess of one million from the nearest city with a population above 100,000 is Perth, Australia, located 2,138 kilometres (1,328 mi)[27] away from Adelaide, Australia.
    • ...with a population in excess of 100,000 from the nearest city of at least that population is Honolulu, Hawaii, United States. The nearest city of comparable size or greater is San Francisco, 3,850 km (2,390 miles) away.[28]
    • ...that is a national capital from the nearest national capital is a tie between Wellington, New Zealand, and Canberra, Australia, which are 2,326 km (1,445 mi) apart from each other.
  • The most remote airport in the world from another airport is Mataveri International Airport (IPC) on Easter Island, which has a single runway for military and public use. It is located 2,603 km (1,617 mi) from Totegegie Airport (GMR; very few flights) in the Gambier Islands, French Polynesia and 3,759 km (2,336 mi) from Santiago, Chile (SCL; a fairly large airport). In comparison, the airport at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station (NZSP) is not very remote at all, being located only 1,355 kilometres (842 mi) from Williams Field (NZWD) near Ross Island.[29]

Farthest-apart cities[edit]

The pairs of cities (with a population over 100,000) with the greatest distance between them are:[30]

  1. Rosario, Argentina to Xinghua, China: 19,996 km (12,425 mi)[31]
  2. Lu'an, China to Río Cuarto, Argentina: 19,994 km (12,424 mi)[32]
  3. Cuenca, Ecuador to Subang Jaya, Malaysia: 19,989 km (12,421 mi)[33]
  4. Rancagua, Chile to Xi'an, China: 19,972 km (12,410 mi)[34]
  5. Salamanca, Spain to Lower Hutt, New Zealand: 19,961 km (12,403 mi)[35]
  6. Marbella, Spain to Auckland, New Zealand: 19,960 km (12,403 mi)[36]

Centre[edit]

  • Since the Earth is a spheroid, its centre (the core) is thousands of kilometres beneath its crust. On the surface, the center of the standard geographic model as viewed on a traditional world map is the point 0°, 0° (the coordinates of zero degrees latitude by zero degrees longitude), which is located in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 614 km (382 miles) south of Accra, Ghana, in the Gulf of Guinea, at the intersection of the Equator and the Prime Meridian. However, the selection for the Prime Meridian as the 0° longitude meridian is culturally and historically dependent and therefore arbitrary.
  • The center of population, the place to which there is the shortest average route for every individual human being in the world, could also be considered a "center of the world". This point is located in the north of the Indian subcontinent, although the precise location has never been calculated and is constantly shifting due to changes in the distribution of the human population across the planet.

Longest lines between two points[edit]

Along constant latitude[edit]

Along constant longitude[edit]

Along any geodesic[edit]

These are the longest straight lines that can be drawn between any two points on the surface of the Earth and remain exclusively over land or water; the points need not lie on the same latitude or longitude.

By region[edit]

Afro-Eurasia[edit]

The Americas[edit]

Oceania[edit]

Antarctica[edit]

Arctic[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A 1995 realignment of the International Date Line moved all of Kiribati to the Asian side of the Date Line, causing Caroline Island to be the easternmost. However, if the previous Date Line were followed, the easternmost point would be Tafahi Niuatoputapu, in the Tonga Islands chain.
  2. ^ The elevation given here was established by a GPS survey in February 2016. The survey was carried out by a team from the French Research Institute for Development, working in cooperation with the Ecuadorian Military Geographic Institute.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gould Coast US Geographic Survey.
  2. ^ "Bay of Whales - former bay, Antarctica". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica. 
  3. ^ "Highest Mountain in the World". geology.com. 
  4. ^ "Chimborazo, el volcán de Ecuador más alto que el Everest (si se mide desde el centro de la Tierra)". BBC Mundo. 7 April 2016. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  5. ^ Klenke, Paul. "Distance to the Center of the Earth". Summit Post. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  6. ^ McIntyre, Loren (April 1987). "The High Andes". National Geographic. National Geographic Society. 171 (4): 422–460.  (includes description and photos of Aucanquilcha summit road and mine)
  7. ^ Assumpció Térmens (2006-03-20). "ICC – Semo Khardung" (PDF). viewfinderpanoramas.org. Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya. Retrieved 2017-02-05. 
  8. ^ "Battle for the Highest Motorable Road". Motoroids. Retrieved 2017-10-17. 
  9. ^ a b Bennett, Suzy (October 2003). "Destination Guides – World's highest railway, Peru – Wanderlust Travel Magazine". Wanderlust Magazine. Retrieved 10 October 2008. 
  10. ^ Ben Blanchard (16 September 2013). "China opens world's highest civilian airport". Reuters. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "Siachen: The world's highest cold war". CNN. 20 May 2002. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "Carrel refuge". summitpost.org. 
  13. ^ "Andes Website – Information about Ojos del Salado volcano, a high mountain in South America and the world's highest volcano". Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "The Highest Lake in the World". Retrieved 7 September 2007. 
  15. ^ "ASTER measurement of supraglacial lakes in the Mount Everest region of the Himalaya: The main Khumbu Glacier is about 17 km long with elevations ranging from 4900m at the terminus to 7600m at the source....The 7600m to 8000m elevations are also depicted on numerous detailed topographic maps". Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  16. ^ "The Mystery of World's highest river and largest Canyon". Archived from the original on 21 September 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2007. 
  17. ^ "Island Superlatives". Retrieved 7 September 2007. 
  18. ^ "TauTona, Anglo Gold – Mining Technology". SPG Media Group PLC. 1 January 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2009. 
  19. ^ "Transocean's Ultra-Deepwater Semisubmersible Rig Deepwater Horizon Drills World's Deepest Oil and Gas Well". Transocean. Archived from the original on 26 April 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2010. 
  20. ^ "Challenger Deep – the Mariana Trench". Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  21. ^ Klimchouck, Alexander. "The deepest cave in the world (Krubera Cave) became 6 m deeper". speleogenesis.info. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  22. ^ "News Story – Bedmap2 gives scientists a more detailed view of Antarctica's landmass". News Story – Bedmap2 gives scientists a more detailed view of Antarctica’s landmass. NERC BASS. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel; Lombardo, Umberto (2007). "Poles of Inaccessibility: A Calculation Algorithm for the Remotest Places on Earth" (PDF). Scottish Geographical Journal. Informa UK. 123 (3): 227–233. doi:10.1080/14702540801897809. ISSN 1470-2541. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 August 2014. 
  24. ^ Centre of Australia, States and Territories Archived 22 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine., Geoscience Australia
  25. ^ "Where is Point Nemo?". NOAA. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  26. ^ Draft Logic – Google Maps Distance Calculator, accessed 4 September 2011
  27. ^ "Flight Distance from Perth, Australia to Adelaide, Australia". travelmath.com. 
  28. ^ "The Most Isolated Cities of the World". cityextremes.com. 
  29. ^ "Great Circle Mapper". gcmap.com. 
  30. ^ "Discover The Furthest City On Earth From Wherever You Live". furthestcity.com. 
  31. ^ "What's the Farthest City and Country from Rosario, Argentina?". furthestcity.com. 
  32. ^ "What's the Farthest City and Country from Liu'an, Anhui, China?". furthestcity.com. 
  33. ^ "What's the Farthest City and Country from Cuenca, Ecuador?". furthestcity.com. 
  34. ^ "What's the Farthest City and Country from Rancagua, Chile?". furthestcity.com. 
  35. ^ "What's the Farthest City and Country from Salamanca, Spain?". furthestcity.com. 
  36. ^ "What's the Farthest City and Country from Marbella, Spain?". furthestcity.com. 
  37. ^ (Map from gcmap)
  38. ^ (Map from gcmap)
  39. ^ Chabukswar, Rohan; Mukherjee, Kushal (2018-04-09). "Longest Straight Line Paths on Water or Land on the Earth". arXiv:1804.07389Freely accessible. Bibcode:2018arXiv180407389C. 
  40. ^ David Shultz (2018-04-30). "This ocean path will take you on the longest straight-line journey on Earth". Science Magazine. 
  41. ^ (Map from gcmap)
  42. ^ (Map from gcmap)