Bouvet Island — Remotest Island Of The World

So many great islands to vacation to, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could book a flight to a remote island and enjoy some peace and quiet, maybe the remotest island in the world. Even though this does sound wonderful the remotest island in the world would not exactly be a great run away destination. Bouvet Island is the remotest island in the world; it is located at a very southern point in the Atlantic Ocean. The entirety of the 19 square miles is indeed desolate.

The original discovery can be traced back to Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier in 1739; however no one was able to find it due to his inaccurately recorded coordinates. Therefore it was not stumbled across until 1808 when James Lindsay, a British whaler found it and named it Lindsay Island. In 1825 it was named Liverpool Island when the whaler Captain Norris found it. In 1927 Norway floated around the island for a month before claiming it. There were several disputes over the next century as to who the island belonged to. In 1930 it was decided to be a Norwegian dependency. In 1971 the name and credit of discovery was properly given to Jean-Baptiste.

Photo of Cape Valdivia, Bouvet Island, Norwegian uninhabited island in the South Atlantic Ocean. The image is mirrored

There is no population because there would be no way to sustain life on such a frozen land. The closest lands to Bouvet are more than 1000 miles away. Queen Maud Land of Antarctica is just over 1,000 miles and Cape Town is about 1600 miles away. Therefore living off of this island and depending on shipments could be quite the challenge.

Bouvet Island is a frozen inactive volcano. The majority of the island is covered by a glacier! The island is in the Antarctic region of the map therefore far too cold to enjoy the human-less environment on a vacation. 93% of the island is covered in ice and the coast is almost entirely inaccessible. Due to its inaccessibility not many have been able to actually explore the land.

The best way to gain access to the island is to fly a helicopter from a ship and gently land on the slippery surface of Bovet. Apparently the glacier does not seem to be the issue with exploration it is simply the jagged edges of the coast line that explorers cannot get past.

There are stories of a 1964 African expedition making it onto land, spending less than an hour exploring, and discovering what appeared to be a whaler’s life boat. There were never any questions answered about how the boat would have gotten onto the land or where it came from. There were supplies in the boat yet the travelers who were brought by this boat were never found. So many questions were asked about the boat no answers were found, neither was the boat after the one expedition.

According to the few who successfully gained access to the land, the vegetation is limited to lichens and mosses. Sea birds, seals, and penguins have been the only inhabitants since its discovery.

Norway has declared Bouvet Island and its adjacent waters a nature reserve therefore its animals and any studies of it is protected. Since 1977 Norway has used the island to study penguins and fur seals, via an automated meteorological station. Even the remotest island has an internet domain of its own, for now Norway says it will not be used.

Bouvet Island 1927

The annexation of the island on 1 December 1927.

Bouvet Island 1929

The first hut, built on Kapp Circoncision, in 1929.

In 1990 scientists, radio operators, and a film crew made a trip to Bouvet Island. A helicopter flew them and their supplies from the ship to the island. The radio operators went to set up communications with the world. While there they managed to contact 50,000 amateur radio operators. The scientists stayed on the ship to map the population of seals and penguins. The film crew of course was there to document the entire stay for movies and TV usage.

In 1994 a field building was constructed, of course by the Norwegians. About 388 square feet container building. In October of 2007 it was announced that via satellite the building was no longer visible. Later it was discovered that an avalanche or landslide wiped the building right off of its foundation.

The movie Alien vs. Predators from 2004 uses Bouvet as its geographical setting. In the unedited version that is available in Norway under the name Bouvetoya the satellite actually focuses in on the island.

Although there are not currently any announced plans for this island there must be something in the works considering there is now radio communications as well as satellite communications, a field building being rebuilt, an internet domain, as well as an established time zone. Only time will tell.

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