Where is the highest mountain in the world? What is the hottest place? And the coldest? There are points on the planet where metrics reach their highest (or lowest) levels and where in many cases life is practically impossible. These are the five most extreme places from the earth.
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The summit furthest from the center of the Earth
If you ask any Ecuadorian which is the highest mountain in the world, they will not hesitate to choose the Chimborazo volcano, near Quito, instead of Mount Everest and its 8,488 meters above sea level.
Of course, Everest is the highest summit on the planet, as long as the measurement is made from the earth’s surface, a category in which Chimborazo is only 6,263.47 meters.
However, if the measurement is made from the center of the Earth, the summit of the Ecuadorian volcano is at a distance of 6,384.4 kilometers, compared to 6,382.3 kilometers from Everest.
How do you explain that the highest peak is not the furthest point from the center of the Earth? Due to the shape of the Earth, which is narrowest at the poles and widest precisely at the Equator.
The most remote island
With an area of only 49 square kilometers and without inhabitants, Bouvet Island is considered the most remote uninhabited point in the world. It is a Norwegian territory, located at the southern end of the Atlantic Ocean, between South America, Africa and Antarctica.
The closest strip of land is Queen Maud Land, an area of Antarctica that is also claimed by Scandinavians and is located more than 1,600 kilometers away.
Meanwhile, the closest populated area is Diego Álvarez Island, also called Gough Island, which is 1,845 kilometers away and is part of the territory of the United Kingdom.
Although Bouvet Island is not occupied by humans, it is home to different species of penguins, silver petrels, albatrosses; in addition to Antarctic fur seals and elephant seals. In addition, it is frequently visited by orcas and humpback whales.
The hottest spot on the planet
Located in the Erta Ale mountain range that crosses the Danakil desert in Ethiopia, the Dallol Crater is a volcanic formation in which basaltic magma, salt deposits and thermal activity mix.
It is considered the hottest place on the planet, with an average annual temperature of 34.4 ° C, recorded between 1960 and 1966, and an average daily maximum of 41.1 ° Celsius, in the same period.
Due to its high temperatures, high acidity, high concentrations of salt and other metals, the Dallol geothermal area is considered one of the most hostile areas on Earth, which is why it has been studied by scientists for eventual missions to other planets.
The coldest point on Earth
Oymyakon, a rural town of 300 inhabitants located in the far east of the Russian republic of Sakha, holds the record for being the coldest inhabited place on Earth.
On January 26, 1926, the temperature dropped to -71.2 ° C (- ° F) in this town, the lowest level ever recorded in an inhabited place and the lowest in the history of the Northern Hemisphere.
Winter lasts nine months in this place and daily temperatures are around -50ºC, with a monthly average of -46.4 ° C (-51.5 ° F), recorded in January, the coldest month of the year.
How does the population live? They go out just enough and necessary in winter, the houses do not have sewers or pipes; They store food in basements to prevent it from freezing, and they avoid turning off vehicle engines so that gasoline does not solidify at temperatures below -45 ° C.
Oymyakon is the coldest populated place on the planet, but Eureka Science Station, on Canada’s Fosheim Peninsula, boasts the lowest average annual temperature at -19.7 ° C (-3.5 ° F).
Although the South Pole and other places in Antarctica are colder, their populations remain less than a year, so they are only considered visitors. Anyway, in 1983 at the base the thermometer read -89.2 ° C, the lowest temperature on record.
The driest place on Earth
The popular myth states that the Atacama Desert, in the extreme north of Chile, is the driest place on the planet. However, the truth is that this privilege is held by the Dry Valleys, located near the McMurdo Strait, in Antarctica.
The McMurdo Dry Valleys, covering about 4,800 square kilometers (0.03% of the continent’s surface), are the largest arid region in Antarctica, with approximately 30 percent of its land area free of ice and snow.
The region is a cold desert ecosystem, whose climate is not only icy but also extremely arid: the average annual temperature is –19.8 ° C and where no rains have been recorded since 2 million years ago.
Scientists believe that the Dry Valleys are the environment most similar to Mars, making it an important source for research on possible extraterrestrial life forms. In addition, the place contains the records of past climatic changes.
In any case, the Atacama desert, in the extreme north of Chile, is the driest non-polar area in the world, with an annual average rainfall of less than one millimeter, 50 times drier than Death Valley in California, United States. United.