List of places on land with elevations below sea level

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This is a list of places below mean sea level that are on land.

Places in tunnels, mines, basements, dug holes (also with open sky), under water, under ice, or existing temporarily as a result of ebbing of sea tide etc. are not included. Places where seawater and rainwater is pumped away are included. Fully natural places below sea level require a dry climate; otherwise, rain would exceed evaporation and fill the area.

All figures are in meters below sea level, arranged by depth, lowest first:





Areas of the Netherlands located below sea level (right) compared to dry land (left).

North America[edit]

Sea level sign (2/3 of the way up the cliff face) above Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park, USA


  • Lake Eyre, Australia, −16 m (−52 ft), lowest land in Australia
  • Lake Frome, Australia, −6 m (−20 ft)
  • Taieri Plain, New Zealand, −2 m (−7 ft)

South America[edit]

Historic and ice-covered areas[edit]

Deeper and larger than any of the trenches in the list above is the Bentley Subglacial Trench in Antarctica, at a depth of 2,540 m (8,330 ft). It is subglacial, meaning that it is permanently covered by the largest ice cap in the world. Therefore, it is not included in any list on the page. If the ice melted it would be covered by sea.

The biggest dry land area below sea level that has been known to exist in the geological past, as measured by continuous volume of atmospheric air below sea level, was the dry bed of the Mediterranean Sea in the late Miocene period during the Messinian salinity crisis.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Scheffel, Richard L.; Wernet, Susan J., eds. (1980). Natural Wonders of the World. United States of America: Reader's Digest Association, Inc. p. 378. ISBN 0-89577-087-3.

External links[edit]