The road less traveled

Video of the day September 12nd 2019

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From the tops of mountains to the depths of the oceans, and many place in between, join me as I reveal to you 8 of the most difficult places to get to in the world.

8. Mt. Everest

So, shall we go to the top of the world together? Figuratively speaking of course. When it comes to adventures and “once-in-a-lifetime experiences”, there are few that top the wonders of climbing Mt. Everest.

At nearly 30,000 feet above sea level, Mt. Everest is technically the tallest mountain in the world (there are exceptions but it’s widely referred to as this). Which means that to be on top of it is to be on top of the world in its own way. However, saying that you’re going to the top of Mt. Everest is one thing, actually getting there is another.

For example, we honestly don’t know how many people have climbed the mountain because it’s hard to know before the age of technology. The first official one happened in 1953, and as of 2012, over 5600 people have climb Mount Everest.

Now you might see that number and go, “Wait a minute, doesn’t that mean it’s easy to get to?” Yes and no. It’s much easier than it was back in the early days of climbing, and there are areas and paths that make it “easier” for people to go up it via. However, there’s a catch to this, despite all the modern advances in people climbing the mountain, there have still been over 200 deaths of people trying to make it to the summit. In 2006 (well after the modern advances had come) 12 people died in a single season. And 7 have died so far in 2019. What’s more, heavy weather conditions have turned back leagues of people who have tried to reach the summit.

So as you can see, just because many people HAVE done it, doesn’t mean that it’s easy to do. So if you want to go to the peak of Mt. Everest, you better be prepared for what’s coming, else your life will quite literally be on the line.

everest

7. Mariana Trench

If you’re looking for a place that only a literal handful of people have been to, you need not look to the skies, but to the oceans below. As a whole, the ocean has been explored by a great deal of people. From basic swimmers, to scuba divers, to marine biologists, to Navy and Marine personnel, and more from various countries. However, when it comes to the deepest and darkest depths of the ocean, there haven’t been as many people there as you would think, this goes double, or maybe even triple, for the space known as the Mariana Trench.

Located 36,000 feet below sea level, the Mariana Trench is one of the deepest parts of the ocean, and was once thought to be THE deepest part of the ocean. And because it’s so deep, it’s incredibly hard to get to as the years have proven.

For a bit of reference, you can pick up Mt. Everest, flip it upside-down, dump it into the ocean, and the tip of it won’t touch the Mariana Trench, that’s how deep it is.

It’s so deep that it was only found in 1875, and it wasn’t until decades after that that people were able to go down there. Yet even then it was difficult. Because the reason the Mariana Trench is so difficult to get to isn’t exactly because of the depth, but the pressure of the ocean at that point.

You see, the deeper you go into the ocean, the more pressure the water exerts. And at 36,000 feet, it can crush metal like it was nothing if it’s not well enforced. That’s why to this day, only four people have been down there. Furthermore, despite the efforts of these four, the total time humanity (as in real humans not drones or robots) has spent down there is in the hours, not days. Which is why the Trench is also one of the least explored places on the planet.

6. The Darien Gap

Allow me to give you a bit of a geography lesson. In the western hemisphere, there is a series of roads that stretch from the northern side of Alaska, all the way down to the very southern tip of South America. This is called the Pan-American Highway, and it’s 19,000 miles long. The road is 99.5% unbroken, meaning that you can get down said road without much issue. So that begs the question of that .5%. What is it’s problem? Well, that is called the Darien Gap, and it’s a place where few know what’s truly in there.

In terms of location, the Darien Gap can be found between Panama and Colombia, and it is so thick and dangerous, that no one dares to try and make a road to go through it, if it’s even possible to make a road go through it given that the gap is full of marshlands and rainforests. Which usually wouldn’t be a problem, except that it’s so thick and massive that it’s near impossible to get anything there to do anything.

So despite all our technology, there are no modern settlements in the Darien Gap, however, there are people who live there, the native people of the gap. They are called the Embera-Wounaan and Kuna. Based on estimates, researchers say that there are about 2,000 people between these two tribes living in the gap. Naturally, they live off the land and are apparently doing quite well though that.

You might think that I’m over exaggerating about how dense this forest/marshland is. But here’s a fact for you. In 1960, a car decided to drive through the Darien Gap, which is about 60 miles long. It took them 5 months to get through. Think about that for a bit. It took a single car 5 months to get through a 60 mile area. That’s insane, and that’s why the Darien Gap is one of the most difficult places to get to and through. One is kind of easy, the other…not so much.

5. Fort Knox

What? I never said that we wouldn’t be talking about specific buildings that would be difficult to get into! And when it comes to near impenetrable buildings to try and break into, Fort Knox is one that is designed to repel all sorts of attempts.

And that’s honestly for a very basic and simple reason. Mainly, this is the main gold reserve for the United States (though to be clear there are others scattered across the country, don’t put your eggs into one basket and all that).

The base itself was established long before the vault that has the gold in it was built. The depository for the gold was made back in 1936, and the facility is actually run by the US Treasury Department. Which makes sense since it’s basically a bank. When the first shipment of gold was put into the place, it was protected by combat cars and tons of soldiers to ensure nothing went wrong.

Since then, Fort Knox has only gotten more fortified, and more protective of their gold. As of 2010, there are over 10,000 people on the base that contains Fort Knox. All of whom are trained to react on a dime if there is a break-in to the vault. Still not enough for you? Well, within the depository itself is a secret police of sorts called the Mint Police that act as a special line of defense should someone somehow get inside.

And should any disturbance on the base even think of happening, the base can go into immediate lockdown protocols and ensure that no one gets in or out.

It’s no wonder that there have been many movies and TV shows that mention breaking into Fort Knox as a scam or con. Including the legendary James Bond film Goldfinger. Where the titular character had a plan to ‘rob’ Fort Knox and needed collaborators from all over the country to help take out all of its defenses.

4. Papua New Guinea

There are certain countries in the world that are havens for life in general, and due to their terrain, are very hard to get to as a result. Which also makes them difficult to explore as a whole. Papua New Guinea is one of the countries that fits this mold to a T. In fact, it’s actually labeled as one of the least explored countries in the world today. Which is interesting considering all the modern advances that we have made available to us.

papua new guinea

If you’re wondering how any country is difficult to get into, that would be because there are only two real ways to “get in” to Papua New Guinea. One is by plane, where you’ll be flown to very specific areas where you can then venture off. The other way is by walking and climbing, which can be problematic if you’re aiming to do long-term exploring.

Still, scientists, biologists, and more go all over New Guinea when they can, and when they do, they always find something new. The diversity of plants and animals on Papa New Guinea are likened to places like Madagascar. Which means that it’s popular with those who want to discover new life, which is admirable. But that doesn’t mean it’s not hard to get to, and if you’re not prepared for the long haul in the country, you’re going to pay for it.

3. Antarctica

If you look at our world today, you’re going to see many places that you can go to and explore without much effort, mainly because 6 of the 7 continents have plenty of access points to get through and go to if you need to. The one that doesn’t have all of that is Antarctica. This is honestly a bit of an oxymoron because Antarctica in regards to its size is rather massive. We’re talking 5.4 million square miles of land. And while humans don’t take part in living there, there are plenty of animals that are there. Such as Penguins, seals, and a whole bunch of invertebrate animals.

Now, that isn’t to say that we haven’t tried to explore Antarctica. There have been many expeditions to the continent, and some stations have even been set up there. But, because of the freezing cold temperatures, dangerous winds, thin ice, and the wildlife, it can near impossible to go and do exploring in a wide area.

What’s more, it’s not like a lot of commercial vessels like to go to Antarctica. It’s freezing down there! So if you wanted to go, you’d have to get a private ride, which can be very expensive, or you go down with a scientist team, which will only go down there via special and less-threatening times of the year.

So if you think about it, there’s a big reason why Antarctica is most unexplored, because unless you have a reason to go there, you really shouldn’t go there.

2. Tromelin Island

Technically speaking, you could put many islands on this list and list them as hard to get to, but when it comes to Tromelin Island, it’s a bit of a different story. Mainly because this is a very small and very flat island that lies to the east of Madagascar. Nothing odd there, right? But technically, there are two very different owners of the island. One is France, which is listed as the country of owning, but because of a clause in the articles that declare the island theirs, there’s another “owner” in the form of the Mauritius. There have been many disputes over the years over who truly owns the island and who doesn’t.

Just as ironic though is that despite having a somewhat decent sized island to do things on…there’s not much to do on the island. In fact, the only real man-made thing on there is a weather station. And when you’re working on a weather station on a remote island? You don’t exactly have the best job in the world if you get my drift.

Speaking of drifting, it’s actually rather hard to drift onto the island. That’s because the dual-owners of the island make it very difficult to get there without permission. In this case, you need permits to get there, and not just anyone can get it. So either you get there illegally (that’s up to you if you want to try that), or you try and find a ship willing to go that direction that has a permit, which is a very select few.

1. Tristan Da Cunha

There is a town in the world called Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, also known as Tristan Da Cunha, and it too is one of the most isolated places in the world today. So much that just getting there is an adventure in and of itself.

That is because this place is over 1200 miles away from any other settlement in all directions you can go. Think about that, think about how far you have to be in order to be away from all settlements like that in all directions. That’s pretty isolated. The town itself was named after the Duke of Edinburgh back in 1867, when he actually came to visit the place. But in modern times, it’s just known as “the settlement” by the 300 or so people that live there.

If you wished to go to another country from this island, the closest place you could would be South Africa. As for getting there, that’s where things get a little tricky. Because the town relishes in its isolation to the extent that if you choose to visit them, you actually have to get permission from them to do so. And getting there won’t be a straight shot because of the isolated nature of the place. You’ll have to go to Cape Town, South Africa and book a 6-day steam to the island, which can be over $500…per trip.

So yeah, good luck getting there. Oh, and the council of the town demands a background check or you don’t get in.

 

 

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