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Extreme points of Earth

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Extreme points of Earth

This is a list of extreme points of Earth, the points 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.

The world

Latitude and longitude

1A 1995 realignment of the International Date Line ([1]) 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.


Highest point

  • The point farthest from the Earth's center is the summit of Chimborazo, in Ecuador, at 6,384.4 km (3,967 mi) (the peak's elevation in relation to the sea level is 6,268 m (20,564 ft)). This is due to the Earth being an oblate spheroid rather than a perfect sphere. An oblate spheroid is very much like a sphere except it is wider at the equator and narrower between the poles. This means that Chimborazo, which is near the equator, is farther away from the center of the Earth than the peak of Mount Everest. The summit of Mount Everest is 2,168 m (7,113 ft) closer at 6,382.3 km (3,965.8 mi) to the Earth's center. Peru's Huascarán contends closely with Chimborazo, the difference in the mountains' heights being 23 m (75 ft)

Lowest point (artificial)

  • The lowest point underground ever reached was 12,262 metres (40,230 ft) deep (SG-3 at Kola superdeep borehole).
  • The lowest human-sized point underground is 3,900 metres (12,800 ft)[1] below ground at the TauTona Mine, Carletonville, South Africa.
  • The lowest (from sea level) artificially made point with open sky, might be the Hambach open pit mine, Germany, 293 metres (961 ft) below sea level.
  • The lowest (from surface) artificially made point with open sky, might be the Bingham Canyon open pit mine, Salt Lake City, United States, 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) below surface level.
  • The lowest point underwater was the 10,680 metres (35,040 ft)-deep (as measured from the subsea wellhead) oil and gas well drilled on the Tiber Oil Field located in the Gulf of Mexico. The wellhead of this well was an additional 1,259 metres (4,131 ft) underwater for a total distance of 11,939 metres (39,170 ft) as measured from sea level.[2]

Lowest point (natural)

Highest attainable by transportation

  • Road (dead end): Aucanquilcha, Chile, 6,176 m (20,262 ft), mining road to summit of volcano, once usable by 20-ton mining trucks.[5] The road is no longer usable.
  • Road (mountain pass): Mana Pass on the India-Tibet border contains a well-graded military road built in the 2005-2010 period that reaches 5,610 metres (18,406 ft) 250m west of the low point of the pass at 5,545 metres (18,192 ft). Semo La in Tibet 5,565 m (18,258 ft) or Marsimik La in India, 5,582 m (18,314 ft), are other contenders, depending on the definition of "attainable by transportation". There may be higher motorable passes in Tibet in areas affected by lack of information and restricted access. See Khardung La, India 5,359 metres (17,582 ft), for more information.
  • Road (asphalted): The Ticlio pass, on the Central Road of Peru, at an elevation of 4,818 metres (15,807 ft).
  • Train: Tanggula Pass, in the Tanggula Mountains, Qinghai/Tibet, China, 5,072 m (16,640 ft), located on the Qinghai–Tibet (Qingzang) Railway. Tanggula also has the world's highest railway station at 5,068 m (16,627 ft). Before the Qingzang Railway was built, the highest railway ran between Lima and Huancayo in Peru, reaching 4,829 m (15,843 ft) at Ticlio.[6]
  • Oceangoing vessel: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory is the highest point that can be reached by watercraft from the sea at 640 m (2,100 ft).[7] The Rhine–Main–Danube Canal between the Hilpoltstein and Bachhausen locks in Bavaria, Germany is the highest point modernly reached by watercraft from the sea at 406 m (1,332 ft).
  • Commercial airport: Daocheng Yading Airport, Sichuan, China, 4,411 m (14,472 ft).[8] The proposed Nagqu Dagring Airport in Tibet, 4,436 m (14,554 ft), if built, will be higher.
  • Helipad: Sonam, Siachen Glacier, India at a height of 6,400 m (20,997 ft) above sea level.[9]
  • Permanent settlement: La Rinconada, Peru, 5,100 m (16,732 ft), in the Peruvian Andes. It is located near a gold mine.

Lowest attainable by transportation

  • Road: Excluding roads in mines, the roads beside the Dead Sea in Israel and Jordan are, at 418 m (1,371 ft) below sea level, the deepest. The deepest undersea road tunnel is the Eiksund Tunnel, Norway, 287 m (942 ft) below sea level.
  • Airfield: Bar Yehuda Airfield (MTZ), near Masada, Israel, 378 m (1,240 ft) below sea level.
  • Commercial airport: Atyrau Airport (GUW), near Atyrau, Kazakhstan, 22 m (72 ft) below sea level.
  • Train: Excluding tracks inside South African gold mines, which can be several thousand metres below sea level, the world's lowest railway is located in Japan's Seikan Tunnel, at 240 m (787 ft) below sea level. By comparison, the Channel Tunnel between Folkestone, England, and Coquelles, France, reaches a depth of 75 m (246 ft). The lowest station is Yoshioka-kaitei, 150 m (492 ft) below sea level. Outside tunnels, the lowest railway is 71 m (233 ft) below sea level, on the line connecting Yuma, Arizona, and Palm Springs, California, in the United States.[6]

Highest geographical features

  • Lake: There is an unnamed crater lake on Ojos del Salado (which itself is the world's highest volcano) at 6,390 m (20,965 ft),[10] on the Argentina–Chile border (the lake is in Argentina). Another candidate is Lhagba Pool on the northeast slopes of Mount Everest, Tibet, China at an elevation of 6,368 m (20,892 ft).[11]
  • Navigable Lake: Lake Titicaca, on the border of Peru and Bolivia in the Andes, 3,812 m (12,507 ft)
  • Glacier: The Khumbu Glacier on the southwest slopes of Mount Everest in Nepal is the world's highest glacier, beginning on the west side of Lhotse at an elevation of 7,600 m (24,934 ft) to 8,000 m (26,247 ft).[12]
  • River: One candidate from among many possibilities is the Ating Ho (Ho meaning river), which flows into the Aong Tso (Hagung Tso), a large lake in Tibet, China, and is about 6,100 m (20,013 ft) at its source at . A very large high river is the Yarlung Tsangpo or upper Brahmaputra River in Tibet, China, whose main stem, the Maquan River has its source at about 6,020 m (19,751 ft) above sea level at .[13] Above these elevations there are no rivers since the temperature is almost always below freezing.
  • Island: There are a number of islands in the Orba Co lake, which is located at an elevation of 5,209 m (17,090 ft) in Tibet, China.[14]


Each continent has its own Continental Pole of Inaccessibility, defined as the place on the continent that is farthest from any ocean. Of these continental points, the most distant from an ocean is the Eurasian Pole of Inaccessibility (or "EPIA") , in China's Xinjiang region near the Kazakhstan border. Calculations have commonly suggested that it is 2,645 km (1,644 mi) from the nearest coastline, located in the Dzoosotoyn Elisen Desert. The nearest settlement to the EPIA is Suluk at about 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) to the east.[15]

A recent study suggests that the historical calculation of the EPIA has failed to recognize the point where the Gulf of Ob joins the Arctic Ocean, and proposes instead that varying definitions of coastline could result in other Eurasian Pole of Inaccessibility results: EPIA1 somewhere between and , about 2510±10 km from the nearest ocean, or EPIA2 somewhere between and , about 2514±7 km from the nearest ocean.[16] If adopted, this would place the final EPIA roughly 130 km (81 mi) closer to ocean than currently agreed upon.[16]

Coincidentally, EPIA1 (or EPIA2) and the most remote of the Oceanic Poles 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 mi) closer to the ocean than the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility is to land.

  • The most remote island is Bouvet Island, an uninhabited and small Norwegian island in the South Atlantic Ocean. It lies at coordinates . The nearest land is the uninhabited Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, over 1,600 km (994 mi) away to the south. The nearest inhabited lands are Tristan da Cunha, 2,260 km (1,404 mi) away and South Africa, 2,580 km (1,603 mi) away.
  • The most remote 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.[18] Coming in a close second at 2,139 kilometres (air travel distance) is Perth, Australia. Its nearest city of at least one million population is Adelaide, Australia.
  • The most remote city with a population in excess of 500,000 is Honolulu, United States. The nearest city of comparable size or greater is San Francisco, 3,841 km (2,387 mi) away.
  • The most remote capital city in the world (longest distance from one capital of a sovereign country to the one closest to it) is a tie between Wellington, New Zealand, and Canberra, Australia, which are 2,326 km (1,445 mi) apart from each other. Canberra could drop from this tie in the future as it is only 2,217 km (1,378 mi) from Noumea,[20] the capital of New Caledonia, a special territory of France which is scheduled to vote on independence between 2014 and 2018.[21]


Since the Earth is a spheroid, its center (the core) is thousands of kilometres beneath its crust. On the surface, the point 0°, 0°, located in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 614 km (382 mi) south of Accra, Ghana, in the Gulf of Guinea, at the intersection of the Equator and Prime Meridian, at the coordinates of zero degrees by zero, is the "center" of the standard geographic model, as viewed on a map—but this selection of longitude meridian is culturally and historically dependent. The center of population, the place to which there is the shortest average route for everyone in the world, could be considered a centre of the world, and is located in the north of the Indian subcontinent, although the precise location has never been calculated and is constantly shifting.

Along constant latitude (east-west distances)

Along constant longitude (north-south distances)

  • The longest continuous distance on land:
    • 7,590 km (4,720 mi) at 99°1'30E: Russian Federation (76°13'6N), Mongolia, China, Burma, Thailand (7°53'24N).
    • 7,417 km (4,609 mi) at 20°12E: Libya (32°19N), Chad, Central Africa, Congo DR, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa (34°41'30S). (Longest in Africa).
    • 7,098 km (4,410 mi) at 70°2W: Venezuela (11°30'30N), Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Argentina (52°33'30S). (Longest in South America).
    • 5,813 km (3,612 mi) at 97°52'30W: Canada (68°21N), United States, Mexico (16°1N). (Longest in North America).
  • The longest land meridian. Still to be determined. It has to be located in the vicinity of 22°E, which is the longest land integer meridian that crosses 13,035 km (8,100 mi) of land and takes more than 65% of the meridian's length. Note: the meridian that crosses Giza Great Pyramid (31°08'3.69"E) is 855 km (532 mi) shorter.
  • The seven longest land integer meridians:
    • 13,035 km (8,100 mi) at 22°E: Europe (3,370 km), Africa (7,458 km), Antarctica (2,207 km). The longest land integer meridian.
    • 12,953 km (8,049 mi) at 23°E: Europe (3,325 km), Africa (7,415 km), Antarctica (2,214 km). The second longest land integer meridian.
    • 12,943 km (8,042 mi) at 27°E: Europe (3,254 km), Asia (246 km), Africa (7,223 km), Antarctica (2,221 km). The third longest land integer meridian.
    • 12,875 km (8,000 mi) at 25°E: Europe (3,344 km), Africa (7,327 km), Antarctica (2,204 km). The fourth longest land integer meridian.
    • 12,858 km (7,990 mi) at 26°E: Europe (3,404 km), Africa (7,258 km), Antarctica (2,196 km). The fifth longest land integer meridian.
    • 12,794 km (7,950 mi) at 24°E: Europe (3,263 km), Africa (7,346 km), Antarctica (2,185 km). The sixth longest land integer meridian.
    • 12,778 km (7,940 mi) at 28°E: Europe (3,039 km), Asia (388 km), Africa (7,117 km), Antarctica (2,233 km). The seventh longest land integer meridian.
  • The longest continuous distance at sea:
    • 15,986 km (9,933 mi) at 34°45'45W: Eastern Greenland (66°23'45N), Atlantic Ocean, Antarctica (Filchner Ice Shelf) (77°37S).
    • 15,883 km (9,869 mi) at 172°8'30W: Russian Federation (Siberia) (64°45N), Pacific Ocean, Antarctica (Ross Ice Shelf) (78°20S). (Longest in the Pacific Ocean).

Along any great circle

  • Longest continuous distance on land: 13,573 km (8,434 mi). It begins on the coastline near Greenville, Liberia (), goes across the Suez Canal and ends at the top of a peninsula approximately 100 km (62 mi) northeast of Wenzhou, China . (Map from gcmap)
  • Longest continuous distance at sea: There are several possible ways to travel along a great circle for more than the antipodic length of 19,840 km (12,330 mi). Some good examples of such routes would be:
    • From the south coast of Balochistan province somewhere near Port of Karachi, Pakistan () across the Arabian Sea, south-west through Indian Ocean, near Comoros, passing Namaete Canyon, near the South Africa coastline, across the South Atlantic Ocean, then west across Cape Horn, then north-west across the Pacific Ocean, near Easter Island, passing the antipodal point, near Amlia island, through the South Bering Sea and ending somewhere on the east-north coast of Kamchatka, near Ossora (). This route is 32,040 km (19,910 mi) long. (Map from gcmap)
    • From the south coast of Hormozgan province, Iran () across the Gulf of Oman, south-east across the Arabian sea, passing south of Australia and New Zealand, near the Antarctic coastline, then north-east across the South Pacific Ocean, passing the antipodal point and ending on the Mexican south-west coast somewhere near Ciudad Lázaro Cárdenas (). This route is 25,267 km (15,700 mi) long. (Map from gcmap)
    • From Invercargill (), New Zealand, across Cape Horn, then off the coast of Brazil close to Recife, passing north of Cape Verde, passing the antipodal point and ending somewhere on the south-west coast of Ireland (). This route is 20,701 km (12,863 mi) long (Map from gcmap)


The Americas


The Arctic


See also


  1. ^ "TauTona, Anglo Gold – Mining Technology". SPG Media Group PLC. 1 January 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2009. 
  2. ^ "Transocean's Ultra-Deepwater Semisubmersible Rig Deepwater Horizon Drills World's Deepest Oil and Gas Well".  
  3. ^ "Challenger Deep - the Mariana Trench". Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  4. ^ Klimchouck, Alexander. "The deepest cave in the world (Krubera Cave) became 6 m deeper". Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  5. ^ McIntyre, Loren (April 1987). "The High Andes".   (includes description and photos of Aucanquilcha summit road and mine)
  6. ^ a b Bennett, Suzy (October 2003). "Destination Guides – World's highest railway, Peru – Wanderlust Travel Magazine". Wanderlust Magazine. Retrieved 10 October 2008. 
  7. ^,%20Alaska%20and%20the%20YT.pdf at p.3
  8. ^ Ben Blanchard (16 September 2013). "China opens world's highest civilian airport". Reuters. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Siachen: The world's highest cold war". CNN. 20 May 2002. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Andes Website – Information about Ojos del Salado volcano, a high mountain in South America and the world's highest volcano". Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "The Highest Lake in the World". Retrieved 7 September 2007. 
  12. ^ ....The 7600m to 8000m elevations are also depicted on numerous detailed topographic maps"The main Khumbu Glacier is about 17 km long with elevations ranging from 4900m at the terminus to 7600m at the source"ASTER measurement of supraglacial lakes in the Mount Everest region of the Himalaya: . Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  13. ^ "The Mystery of World's highest river and largest Canyon". Retrieved 7 September 2007. 
  14. ^ "Island Superlatives". Retrieved 7 September 2007. 
  15. ^ "Map of the region around the Continental Pole of Inaccessibility, showing relative locations of Hoxtolgay, Xazgat and Suluk". MSN Maps. Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f Garcia-Castellanos, D.; U. Lombardo (2007). "Poles of Inaccessibility: A Calculation Algorithm for the Remotest Places on Earth". Scottish Geographical Journal 123 (3): 227–233.  
  17. ^ Centre of Australia, States and Territories, Geoscience Australia
  18. ^ Draft Logic – Google Maps Distance Calculator, accessed 4 September 2011
  19. ^ Great Circle Mapper
  20. ^ "World Distance Calculator". Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  21. ^ "Regions and territories: New Caledonia". BBC News. 16 June 2011. 
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