Deep in the ocean’s depths, there is a point on the map where no land exists for thousands of kilometers in every direction. This point is called Point Nemo, one of the most remote places on the planet. Yet, despite its extreme remoteness, Point Nemo has become a graveyard for spacecraft, a laboratory for scientists, and a supposed refuge for mythical sea creatures.
It is a unique and fascinating spot, full of secrets and surprises. This article will explore the facts about Point Nemo and its status as one of the most mysterious places on Earth.
Point Nemo Is The Most Remote Location on Earth
Point Nemo is located in the South Pacific Ocean, approximately 2,688 kilometers (1,670 miles) away from the nearest land. Situated at the point of coordinates 48°52.6′S 123°23.6′W, it is the most remote location on Earth, as it is the furthest point from any landmass.
Geographically, this mystery point is located at the intersection of the equator, the International Date Line, and the 90th meridian west.
The nearest landmasses to Point Nemo are; the Pitcairn Islands’ Ducie Island to the north; Motu Nii, a small island that is part of the Easter Island chain, to the northeast, and Maher island, off the shore of Marie Byrd Land, an unclaimed territory in Antarctica, to the south.
These islands are all unpopulated. You would have to travel to New Zealand, which is located around 2,500 miles (4,023 kilometers) away, or to one of the world’s most isolated inhabited islands, Easter Island, which is located about 2,200 miles (3,540 kilometers) to the west of Chile to find the closest hint of civilization.
This journey can only be completed by boat and could take more than two weeks.
Surprisingly, the closest people to point Nemo are astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) in space. At their closest, they are about 258 miles (415 kilometers) away from the location that marks the spot.
Point Nemo Is The Oceanic Point Of Inaccessibility
Point Nemo is also known as the oceanic pole of inaccessibility.
For context, a point of inaccessibility is the point(location) on a given landmass farthest from any coastline or shoreline. It is the geographical center of an area.
Point Nemo, as the Oceanic point of inaccessibility, is the farthest place from land. It is the furthest point from land that you can get.
The oddity of Point Nemo as a point of inaccessibility is also seen in its equal distance from all the nearby land masses, which are Moto Nui, Ducie Island, and Maher island, each 2,688 kilometers away.
Point Nemo Was Discovered Just Over Three Decades Ago
While the oceanic point of inaccessibility has always existed, it was only just discovered in 1992, some three decades ago.
Hrvoje Lukatela, a Croatian-Canadian survey engineer, determined the position of point Nemo using theoretical ideas designating a point of inaccessibility.
He obtained his raw calculation parameters from the US Defense Mapping Agency’s (now National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency) “Digital Chart of the World” – a comprehensive database of satellite orbits and ground locations.
Lukatela didn’t actually visit point Nemo to confirm its existence. Instead, using computational software, he was able to validate his calculations through realistic modeling and simulations.
Point Nemo Isn’t Named After A Fish
The etymology of Point Nemo is easily confused with Disney’s well-known protagonist — fish Nemo — in the children’s show Finding Nemo. Although the inspiration behind both names — Nemo the fish and Nemo the geographical wonder — stems from the sea, that’s the extent of their similarities.
Point Nemo was named after the famous fictional character Captain Nemo in Jules Verne’s ‘20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.’ It translates roughly to “no man” in Latin, a name that fits a place so alone in the world.
Point Nemo Is A Confluence of Lifelessness
The Nemo point is an area of the deep ocean with no islands, reefs, or other land structures. Instead, the ocean floor comprises abyssal plains, trenches, and mountain ranges plagued by perpetual darkness and silence. The extreme pressure of the deep sea and cold temperatures make it uninhabitable for most life forms.
There are no fish or other marine life in the area, and the lack of sunlight and nutrients makes it difficult for even the hardiest species to survive.
Currently, only bacteria and tiny crabs have been discovered to live in the volcanic vents on the seafloor near Point Nemo.
Point Nemo Is The Home Of Cthulhu
Point Nemo’s location is coincidentally the home of Cthulhu, the fictional cosmic entity created by author H.P. Lovecraft in his famous fictional work — The sunken city.
Cthulhu is a massive monster that is part octopus and part dragon and wields enormous power and influence. In Lovecraft’s mythology, he supposedly has a cult of alien or extra-dimensional entities known as the “Great Old Ones” that worship him.
Point Nemo is the perfect place for Cthulhu to hide from the world. It’s incredibly remote, and the deep waters are frigid, making it an ideal home for a creature like him. To make matters even better, Point Nemo is considered international waters, making it a haven for Cthulhu and his followers, fiction-wise, of course.
Lovecraft puts the city in the South Pacific Ocean at 47°9′S 126°43′W, very close to Point Nemo.
The fictional submerged city was first referenced in the short story The Call of Cthulhu (1928), written 66 years before the computation and eventual mapping of Point Nemo.
Point Nemo Is A Spacecraft Cemetery
Sometime after the first man set foot on the moon, space organizations found that an extremely remote location, such as Point Nemo, is a safe “scuttling” destination for satellites and spacecraft that are deorbited for decommissioning on expiry.
As a result of this discovery, Point Nemo was designated as the ultimate space graveyard. Space organizations eventually went on to direct defunct spacecraft and space stations to this distant area using controlled landing without fearing the disruption of humans or maritime traffic.
The cemetery — point Nemo eventually matured into its role as the ideal ultimate resting place for space technology. It is far enough away from air and sea traffic that the spacecraft will not be disturbed, and it is located in an area of the ocean with minimal currents, so the spacecraft and its technology will not drift away.
The first spacecraft to be sent to Point Nemo was the Soviet Union’s Salyut 1 in 1971. Since then, more than 250 spacecraft have been sent to the graveyard, including the Mir space station, the Skylab space station, and the Beagle 2 Mars lander.
When a spacecraft is sent to Point Nemo, it is deorbited before being allowed to sink to the ocean floor. This procedure is called “geological disposal,” and it ensures that the spacecraft will not pose a threat to future space missions.
Among the space junks at Point Nemo are over 140 Russian resupply ships, a SpaceX rocket, and other spacecraft from the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The International Space Station (ISS) will likewise be decommissioned at Point Nemo in 2028-2030.
Ultimately, Point Nemo is a unique and fascinating place, serving an important role in space exploration. It serves as a final resting place for spacecraft that have served humanity well and a safe refuge that decreases the likelihood of debris collisions in space.
Point Nemo Was Once Thought To Contain Life
In 1997, the US. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recorded a very loud sound originating from point Nemo, an otherwise Lifeless/deathly place. However, it wasn’t only the NOAA that witnessed this phenomenon. The mysterious sound traveled across the Pacific, echoing all the way. Since then, it’s been known as the Bloop.
After analysis and several experimental reiterations, the Bloop was discovered to be a series of low-frequency, high-amplitude signals traveling at irregular intervals. The sound has been compared to a whale’s call, albeit much louder and more forceful. It was said to be so loud that it could be detected on many sensors over thousands of kilometers.
At the time, many theories were going around, all trying to explain the origins of the Bloop. Scientists ran with the hypothesis that a large aquatic animal, such as a whale or a giant squid, could have caused the sound. With Point Nemo’s proximity to H.P Lovecraft’s sunken city, conspiracy theories flew with wild abandon.
Eventually, several years later, in 2005, the NOAA came up with an actual scientific explanation for the Bloop. In the end, the Bloop wasn’t caused by an unknown marine life, nor was it the site of an Alien invasion. Instead, it was simply a phenomenon caused by large icebergs calving off an ice shelf in the depth of the dark seas.