Bouvet Island: The Most Isolated Piece of Land on Earth

This video was made possible by Skillshare. Learn what you want to learn with Skillshare
for free for two months at There are a lot of places that don’t have
any people like here, and here, but also here. Now, people live here, in Antarctica, and
people live here, on the continents, but basically nobody lives between here and here—in the
Southern Ocean. That’s not only because the amphibious human
update isn’t out yet but also because barely anyone lives on the few islands there are
here. But not only does practically nobody live
here but practically nobody even goes here. Here’s a map of the world’s air traffic
and here’s a map of the world’s maritime traffic. Nobody lives here, nobody goes here, it’s
more isolated than the north pole, and it’s more desolate than Antarctica. If you have something to hide this is the
place for it and maybe that’s why a few countries put at least a moderate amount of
effort into holding onto these few pieces of land in the Southern Ocean. One country in particular lays claim to the
most isolated piece of land on earth. Despite their isolation, though, believe it
or not, there are some islands in the Southern Ocean that actually do have people. Here’s South Georgia and the South Sandwich
Islands—a little bit of Britain in the southern ocean. Just because these islands are British doesn’t
mean that they’re filled with cheap beer, emotional repressiveness, and bad political
decisions because these islands are almost completely deserted. They were claimed by James Cook, you know,
the guy who claimed everything, and they were or are used for 1) asserting British dominance,
2) killing wales, 3) killing fish, and 4) making stamps. You know that bit of a war Argentina and Britain
had in the Falklands, the Falklands War, well they had this cool little side war in these
islands which Argentina won but eventually 132 British commandos and a small assortment
of warships kindly asked the Argentinians to leave. Eating whale and burning whale oil was once
popular until it wasn’t and this was a good area to catch whale so there were actual,
real towns here that looked like this but now look like this. When a country has territory they get the
rights to fish in the waters 200 nautical miles from its coastline and so nowadays around
these islands British people and people who pay the British fish for fish that look like
this, this, and this. Lastly, stamp collectors are into stamps from
places that are only sort of real so they spend good money to buy stamps from these
islands—enough so that there’s a whole wikipedia page about it. Now, time to zoom out because the waters between
here and here and actually a pretty international place. You’ve got some Kiwi islands, a smattering
of Australian ones, a spattering of South African ones, a sprinkling of British ones,
a scattering of French ones, and for some strange reason two Norwegian ones. Now, this is strange because Norway does not
fall into one of the two main categories here—countries that are close to the Southern Ocean and countries
that colonized half the world. Norway’s only territories are Svalbard,
Jan Mayen island, Peter I island, and Bouvet island—a small, uninhabited volcanic island
a full 8,000 miles away from Oslo. The nearest bit of land is Gough Island, a
British possession 1,000 miles away, making Bouvet island the most remote place on earth. No piece of land is further from another piece
of land. The island was first found by a Frenchman
who subsequently lost it but then it was found again by a Brit who claimed it but then almost
a century later some Norwegians came along, built a hut, raised a flag, and decided the
island was theirs. Of course the British fundamentally disagreed
with the idea that anyone could just show up, plant a flag, and decide land was theirs
but the British stopped fighting for the island after a while once they realized that for
one, the island was worthless, and two, that they weren’t actually sure if they owned
the island since the person who claimed it wasn’t 100% sure which island he landed
on. History has revealed that the person who claimed
it definitely was on Bouvet island since there isn’t another island for literally more
than a thousand miles but, nonetheless, that’s how Bouvet became Norwegian. The most exciting thing to ever happen near
the island was two big flashes of light in 1979. They were detected near the island by an American
surveillance satellite and the consensus opinion nowadays, not the conspiracy theory, is that
this was a joint South-African Israeli nuclear test. This is, of course, interesting since still
today Israel will neither confirm nor deny having nukes but that’s beside the point. What’s more interesting is that this area
of the world was so deserted that still today we’re not completely sure whether that double
flash of light was or wasn’t a nuclear explosion. It’s so deserted that you can seemingly
set off a nuke without anyone noticing. Still today, humans only step foot on Bouvet
Island every few years. Unlike most other Southern Ocean islands,
there is and has never been a long term settlement on Bouvet. The whole landmass is covered in ice and snow
so there’s really nowhere to build a settlement. Even if there was dry land to build a settlement
it’s incredibly hard to land a boat on Bouvet as the seas are quite rough so the main way
to get on is by launching a helicopter from a nearby ship. Norway just keeps the island since it doesn’t
really take much effort to hold onto the territory and it gives the country some fishing rights. Given everything, for all those reasons, unless
there’s significant climatic change, Bouvet will likely remain one of the least visited
and the most isolated place in the world. If I were stranded on Bouvet island the three
things I would bring would be skis to shred the gnar, Batman, and an iPad with the Skillshare
app. That’s of course because Skillshare’s
app lets you download classes offline which can teach you how to create fire… in Blender,
how to make a Boat… drawing, and how to build a home… recording studio. Skillshare has over 20,000 classes so if there’s
something you want to learn, whether it be how to launch a freelance career or how to
edit with Premiere, Skillshare probably has a class on it. What’s more, you can take any one of these
20,000 classes for free and build up your skills for two whole months by signing up
for Skillshare at and you’ll be supporting the show while you’re at it.

  1. I served in the British army, on South Georgia, for 7 months in the 1990s, very interesting tour, nice for the scenery but not a lot happened, we were at King Edward Point across the bay from Grytviken(an old closed down whaling station), which had a couple living there on a small sailing yacht(they wrote a book on the island, which i have a signed copy), they kept the church going and looked after graves, which included the grave of Sir Ernest Shakleton. The Habour master also lived at KEP, he was the defacto governor of the island and controlled the payment of fishing rights (serious money, in the millions per big ship) and ran the post office, and the two marines in or detachment were effectively the island police force. I was one of the 4 man signals detachment that kept all the comms going, there were also engineers that looked after the generators and ridged raider boats, as well as a an army chef, an officer and a St Helenan assistant chef, that was it over winter, hardly more than a dozen people,other than the British Antarctic survey team at the north of the island, who i never met. We did get quite a few cruise ships in the warmer months, and they all came off at KEP looked around Grytviken, bought books and especially, as he said here, stamps and postcards, from the post office,,

    We were resupplied by boat every month, if it could get there, and mail and small supplies were dropped into the harbour from a Hercules aircraft, which we went out and scooped up in our rigid raiders(waterproofed packages obviously), no airport so it couldn`t land, and the Falklands was too far for a helicopter. No R & R because the ship came, stayed 2 days, and left, it was a four day each way trip, and it didn`t come back for a month, that was too long for crucial staff to be away so no tour break. Physical training was mainly inside, as in winter you sometimes had to be lashed together to get from the accom to the end of the pier, when the weather was better we got to run up the mountainside to the reservoir, but mainly involved running up and down the stairs in the accom. The runs outside in squads always involved jumping over elephant seals, or at least stepping on their backs and jumping off, as they were too big to leap in one go, they were everywhere, but didnt move fast but liked to lie on the flat smooth bits, which was the only path from KEP to Grytviken and the reservoir,, fur seals were the worst, especially the bigger males, they could move a bit, we ran round them with a wider berth.

  2. You should discuss the abandoned life raft that was found on this island and could never be traced to anyone or any ship. Given that it’s 1,000 miles from land the thought of a life raft there is scary.

  3. Israel and South Africa joint nuke Norway's floating igloo. An interesting way to start WW3…

    (PS, Bouvet Island probably doesn't have internet, so you can't use skillshare.

  4. “Bad political decisions” says the one with Trump as a president

    Ps just thought u were American cos everything’s always America’s fault

  5. Since it's 1,000 miles from the nearest land mass, and literally no one is even near there, let alone goes there, if it, one, had not been a volcano, and two, had not been antarctic, I would say that I need to be there. Yes, Gilligan's Island, but with one castaway, instead of seven.

  6. Bouvet Island was used as a small stop for whalers and pole expeditions back in the days. Because I actually listen in history classes (I don’t claim that I am the only one that does that here)

  7. Every video you have to a comment about the british and you always say something bad about them. Every video, you got a problem with them??

  8. yesssssss we norwegians are finally getting some recognition up in this bitch

    it only took a terrorist attack and saving the world from the nazis for people to give a damn about us

    but hey visit norway – shit's crazy lmao

  9. It where Alien vs. Predator takes place..
    All that snow and Ice is covering a pyramid with a xenomorph queen in it.

  10. 1:21 The audio implies "killing whales" but the captions say "killing wales". Good job, England, you killed Wales.

  11. 1.40 Argentina won!!!! WTAF, if you call invading against the wishes of the local population and then the locals getting "liberated" and all Argentina troops being expelled.

    Your fact checking is shite

  12. except its fundamentally impossible to download anything offline. You need to be connected to a network of some sort to download anything. I believe you meant to say that you can download it for offline use otherwise it is false advertisement.

    Yes, I'm cherry picking something over half a year ago, but it is better to be corrected than sued.

  13. Rapa Nui or Easter Island is the most isolated Island in the World. Furthest from any landmass in the world. Do your research.

  14. Most isolated place in Earth! I'm in!
    – Do I need a Passport to visit there?
    – Who will stamp my Passport when I do get there?
    – Where do I apply for my green card if if I decide to stay?
    – Do I need Norway's authorization before going?
    -How do I download Skillshare once I'm there?I
    – If I see Flashes of a nuke, Who do I notify?
    – If I hear noises at night, is it okay for me to shoot first, then ask "Who is It?"

    Damn…. I have more questions!!!!!

  15. He didnt mention that Norway claims a big piece of Antarctica known as Queen Maads Land. But I got lol in the title when it said. The most isolated place on earth. I was like. Hey we might be a big clump of snow shaped like a spoon but we have 44 airports we aren’t so isolated. But then I understood IT. But no ones is gonna like IT or SEE IT so i dont know why im writing this

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