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Extreme Points of Earth
List of geographical locations that extend farther in one direction than any other location
This is a list of extreme points of Earth, the geographical locations 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 point farthest from Earth's centre is the summit of Chimborazo in Ecuador, at 6,384.4 km (3,967.1 mi) from Earth's centre; the peak's elevation relative to sea level is 6,263.47 m (20,549 ft).[note 2] This is because Earth is an oblatespheroid rather than a perfect sphere; it is wider at the Equator and narrower between the poles. Therefore, the summit of Chimborazo, which is near the Equator, is farther away from Earth's centre than the summit of Mount Everest is; the latter is 2,168 m (7,112.9 ft) closer, at 6,382.3 km (3,965.8 mi) from Earth's centre. Peru's Huascarán (at 6,768 m or 22,205 ft) contends closely with Chimborazo, the difference in the mountains' heights being just 23 m (75 ft).
The fastest point on Earth or, in other words, the point furthest from the axis of Earth is the summit of Cayambe in Ecuador, at 1,675.89 km/h (1,041.35 mph) and 6,383.95 km (3,966.80 mi) from the axis. Like Chimborazo, which is the fourth fastest peak at 1,675.47 km/h (1,041.09 mph), it is close to the Equator and takes advantage of the oblate spheroid figure of Earth. More importantly, however, it being so near the Equator means that the majority of its distance from Earth's centre goes into it being away from the axis.
Highest points attainable by transportation
The highest point accessible...
...by land vehicle is an elevation of 6,688 m (21,942 ft) on Ojos del Salado in Chile, which was reached by the Chilean duo of Gonzalo and Eduardo Canales Moya on 21 April 2007 with a modified Suzuki Samurai, setting the high-altitude record for a four-wheeled vehicle.
...by road (mountain pass) is disputed; there are a number of competing claims for this title due to the definition of "motorable pass" (i.e. a surfaced road or one simply passable by a vehicle):
The highest asphalted road crosses Tibet's Semo La pass at 5,565 m (18,258 ft). It is used by trucks and buses regularly. The Ticlio pass, on the Central Road of Peru, is the highest surfaced road in the Americas, at an elevation of 4,818 m (15,807 ft).
The highest unsurfaced road is claimed by several different roads. All are unsurfaced or gravel roads including the barely passable road to Umling, LA, 17 km (11 mi) west of Demchok in Ladakh, India, which reaches 5,800 m (19,029 ft) ("19,300 feet" according to a Border Roads Organisation sign there that recognizes it as the "World's Highest Motorable Pass"), and Mana Pass, between India and Tibet, which is crossed by a gravel road reaching 5,610 m (18,406 ft). The heavily trafficked Khardung La in Ladakh lies at 5,359 m (17,582 ft). A possibly motorable gravel road crosses Marsimik La in Ladakh at 5,582 m (18,314 ft).
...by oceangoing vessel is a segment of the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal between the Hilpoltstein and Bachhausen locks in Bavaria, Germany. The locks artificially raise the surface level of the water in the canal to 406 m (1,332 ft) above mean sea level, higher than any other lock system in the world, making it the highest point currently accessible by oceangoing commercial watercraft.
The farthest road from the Earth's centre is the Road to Carrel Hut in the Ecuadorian Andes, at an elevation of 4,850 m (15,912 ft) above sea level and a distance of 6,382.9 km (3,966 mi) from the centre of the Earth.
Highest geographical features
The highest volcano is Ojos del Salado on the Argentina-Chile border. It has the highest summit, 6,893 m (22,615 ft), of any volcano on Earth.
The highest natural lake is an unnamed crater lake on Ojos del Salado at 6,390 m (20,965 ft), on the Argentina side. Another candidate was Lhagba Pool on the northeast slopes of Mount Everest, Tibet, at an elevation of 6,368 m (20,892 ft), which has since dried up.
The highest navigable lake is Lake Titicaca, on the border of Bolivia and Peru in the Andes, at 3,812 m (12,507 ft).
The highest glacier is the Khumbu Glacier on the southwest slopes of Mount Everest in Nepal, beginning on the west side of Lhotse at an elevation of 7,600 to 8,000 m (24,900 to 26,200 ft).
The lowest point underground is more than 2,000 m (6,600 ft) under the Earth's surface. For example, the altitude difference between the entrance and the deepest explored point (the maximum depth) of the Krubera Cave in Georgia is 2,191 ± 20 m (7,188 ± 66 ft). In 2012, Ukrainian cave diver Gennadiy Samokhin reached the lowest point, breaking the world record.
The lowest point on land not covered by liquid water is the canyon under Denman Glacier in Antarctica, with the bedrock being 3,500 m (11,500 ft) below sea level.
The lowest point on dry land is the shore of the Dead Sea, shared by Israel, Palestine, and Jordan, 432.65 m (1,419 ft) below sea level. As the Dead Sea waters are receding, the water surface level drops more than 1 m per year.
The point on the surface closest to the Earth's centre (interpreted as a natural surface of the land or sea that is accessible by a person) is the surface of the Arctic Ocean at the Geographic North Pole (6,356.77 km or 3,950 mi).
The closest point on the ground (interpreted as a land surface or sea floor) is the bottom of the Litke Deep, which is 6,351.61 km (3,947 mi) from the centre of the Earth. By comparison, the bottom of the deepest oceanic trench in the world, the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, is 14.7 km (9 mi) farther from the centre of the Earth.
Lowest points attainable by transportation
The lowest point accessible...
...by road, excluding roads in mines, is any of the roads alongside the Dead Sea in Israel and Jordan, which are the lowest on Earth at 418 m (1,371 ft) below sea level.
The lowest undersea highway tunnel is the Eiksund Tunnel, in Norway, at 287 m (942 ft) below sea level.
...by train, excluding the tracks inside some South African gold mines, which can be several thousand metres below sea level, is located in the Seikan Tunnel of Japanrailroad, at 240 m (787 ft) below sea level. For comparison, the undersea Channel Tunnel between England and France reaches a depth of 115 m (377 ft) below sea level.
If adopted, this would place the final EPIA roughly 130 km (81 mi) closer to the ocean than the point that is currently agreed upon. Coincidentally, EPIA1, or EPIA2, and the most remote of the Oceanic Pole 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 continental poles of inaccessibility for the other continents are as follows:
The title for most remote inhabited island or archipelago (the farthest away from any other permanently inhabited place) depends on how the question is interpreted. If the south Atlantic island Tristan da Cunha (population about 300) and its dependency Gough Island (with a small staffed research post), which are 399 km (248 mi) from each other, are considered part of the same archipelago, or if Gough Island is not counted because it has no permanent residents, then Tristan da Cunha is the world's most remote inhabited island/archipelago: the main island, also called Tristan da Cunha, is 2,434 km (1,512 mi) from the island Saint Helena, 2,816 km (1,750 mi) from South Africa, and 3,360 km (2,090 mi) from South America. It is 2,260 km (1,404 mi) away from uninhabited Bouvet Island. However, if Gough and Tristan da Cunha are considered separately, they disqualify each other, and the most remote inhabited island is Easter Island in the South Pacific Ocean, which lies 2,075 km (1,289 mi) from Pitcairn Island (about 50 residents in 2013), 2,606 km (1,619 mi) from Rikitea on the island of Mangareva (the nearest town with a population over 500), and 3,512 km (2,182 mi) from the coast of Chile (the nearest continental point and the country of which Easter Island is part). The Kerguelen Islands in the southern Indian Ocean are another contender, lying 1,340 km (830 mi) from the small Alfred Faure scientific station in Île de la Possession, but otherwise more than 3,300 km (2,100 mi) from the coast of Madagascar (the nearest permanently inhabited place), 450 km (280 mi) northwest of the uninhabited Heard Island and McDonald Islands (both a part of Australia), and 1,440 km (890 mi) from the non-permanent scientific station located in Île Amsterdam.
The most remote city...
...with a population in excess of one million from the nearest 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 km (1,347.7 mi) away.
...with a population in excess of one million from the nearest city with a population above 100,000 is Perth, Australia, located 2,138 km (1,328 mi) away from Adelaide, Australia.
...with a population in excess of 100,000 from the nearest city of at least that population is Honolulu, Hawaii, United States. The nearest city of comparable size or greater is San Francisco, 3,850 km (2,390 mi) away.
...that is a national capital from the nearest national capital is a tie between Wellington, New Zealand, and Canberra, Australia, which are 2,326 km (1,445 mi) apart from each other.
Since the Earth is a spheroid, its centre (the core) is thousands of kilometres beneath its crust. On the surface, the centre of the standard geographic model as viewed on a traditional world map is the point 0°, 0° (the coordinates of zero degrees latitude by zero degrees longitude), which is located in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 614 km (382 mi) south of Accra, Ghana, in the Gulf of Guinea. It lies at the intersection of the Equator and the Prime Meridian, is marked with a buoy and sometimes called Null Island. However, the selection for the Prime Meridian as the 0° longitude meridian is culturally and historically dependent and therefore geographically arbitrary.
The centre of population, the place to which there is the shortest average route for every individual human being in the world, could also be considered a "centre of the world". This point is located in the north of the Indian subcontinent, although the precise location has never been calculated and is constantly shifting due to changes in the distribution of the human population across the planet.
The meridian that crosses the greatest total distance on land (disregarding intervening bodies of water) is still to be determined. It is likely located in the vicinity of 22°E, which is the longest integer meridian that fits that criterion, crossing a total of 13,035 km (8,100 mi) of land through Europe (3,370 km or 2,090 mi), Africa (7,458 km or 4,634 mi), and Antarctica (2,207 km or 1,371 mi). More than 65% of the meridian's length is located on land. The meridian that crosses Giza Great Pyramid (31°08'3.69"E) is 855 km (531 mi) shorter.
The next six longest integer meridians by total distance over land are, in order:
23°E: 12,953 km (8,049 mi) through Europe (3,325 km or 2,066 mi), Africa (7,415 km or 4,607 mi), and Antarctica (2,214 km or 1,376 mi)
27°E: 12,943 km (8,042 mi) through Europe (3,254 km or 2,022 mi), Asia (246 km or 153 mi), Africa (7,223 km or 4,488 mi), and Antarctica (2,221 km or 1,380 mi)
25°E: 12,875 km (8,000 mi) through Europe (3,344 km or 2,078 mi), Africa (7,327 km or 4,553 mi), and Antarctica (2,204 km or 1,370 mi)
26°E: 12,858 km (7,990 mi) through Europe (3,404 km or 2,115 mi), Africa (7,258 km or 4,510 mi), and Antarctica (2,196 km or 1,365 mi)
24°E: 12,794 km (7,950 mi) through Europe (3,263 km or 2,028 mi), Africa (7,346 km or 4,565 mi), and Antarctica (2,185 km or 1,358 mi)
28°E: 12,778 km (7,940 mi) through Europe (3,039 km or 1,888 mi), Asia (388 km or 241 mi), and Africa (7,117 km or 4,422 mi)
These are the longest straight lines that can be drawn between any two points on the surface of the Earth and remain exclusively over land or water; the points need not lie on the same latitude or longitude.
There are several possible candidates for the longest continuous straight-line distance in any direction at sea, as there are many possible ways to travel along a great circle for more than the antipodic length of 19,840 km (12,330 mi). Some examples of such routes would be:
As distinct from all the aforementioned geodesic lines, which may appear straight but are actually arcs of great circles projected on the spheroidal surface of the earth and, accordingly, are not truly straight but rather curving lines, authentically straight lines can be projected through the interior of the earth between almost any two points on the surface of the earth (some extreme topographical situations being the rare exceptions). If a line projected from the summit of Cayambe in Ecuador (see highest points) to the axial centre of the earth is extended to its antipode on the island of Sumatra, then the resulting diametrical line would be the longest truly straight line that could be produced anywhere on earth. As the variable circumference of the earth approaches 40,000 kilometres (25,000 mi), such a maximum "diametrical" or "antipodal" line would be on the order of 13,000 kilometres (8,000 mi) long.
^Mathieu Morlighem; Eric Rignot; Tobias Binder; Donald Blankenship; Reinhard Drews; Graeme Eagles; Olaf Eisen; Fausto Ferraccioli; René Forsberg; Peter Fretwell; Vikram Goel; Jamin S. Greenbaum; Hilmar Gudmundsson; Jingxue Guo; Veit Helm; Coen Hofstede; Ian Howat; Angelika Humbert; Wilfried Jokat; Nanna B. Karlsson; Won Sang Lee; Kenichi Matsuoka; Romain Millan; Jeremie Mouginot; John Paden; Frank Pattyn; Jason Roberts; Sebastian Rosier; Antonia Ruppel; Helene Seroussi; Emma C. Smith; Daniel Steinhage; Bo Sun; Michiel R. van den Broeke; Tas D. van Ommen; Melchior van Wessem; Duncan A. Young (12 December 2019). "Deep glacial troughs and stabilizing ridges unveiled beneath the margins of the Antarctic ice sheet". Nature Geoscience. 13 (2): 132-137. doi:10.1038/s41561-019-0510-8. S2CID209331991. Retrieved 2019.