Bouvet Island, Uninhabited Island in the Middle of the Atlantic Ocean
Ever heard of Bouvet’s name? This is an island dubbed the most lonely place on Earth. Far from everywhere, but interesting to study.
If you search the internet about remote places in the world, Bouvet Island is one of them. This island, which is included in the territory of Norway, is located in the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean. Located 1,000 km from the South Pole, and more than 3,000 km from mainland Argentina and South Africa. There are no humans there!
Bouvet Island was first discovered by a French sailor, Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier. In 1738 he offered to explore the southern part of Earth to the French government. The goal, to find new land, which of course can be controlled and made a colony.
His request was granted, Jean-Baptiste was financed by two ships named Aigle and Marie. His first trip from France was to Brazil. Then from there, he departed on July 1738 and arrived at Bouvet Island in December 1739.
From the story of Jean-Baptiste’s journey, at that time his crew saw a vast land whose edge was ice cliffs. After circling the island, Jean-Baptiste can meet the beach and try to stay as long as possible.
There too, Jean-Baptiste and his crew saw penguins. He wrote, ‘amphibians look bigger than ducks but have wings instead of fins’. There are still many that want to be explored, but unfortunately, there isn’t much time.
Most Lonely Places on Earth Bouvet Island
Food supplies are running low and many crews are sick. Plus the temperature that every day is very cold, hail and snowstorms, make conditions worse.
One month on the island, Jean-Baptiste returned to his hometown. He also apologized to the French government and said, if the island he met was very unfit to inhabit. Only land and rocks, there are no plants and not many animals.
After that, almost 100 years ago there were no explorers who came to the island which was finally named Bouvet Island (according to the name of the Jean-Baptiste). It was only in 1822 that an American sailor named Benjamin Morrell came there.
Later, British sailor George Norris also stopped by Bouvet Island in 1825. But the sailors were apparently not interested in taking Bouvet Island as part of his country. Until Norwegian sailor, Harald Horntvedt arrived there in 1927 and declared Bouvet Island as part of the country of Norway to this day.
Research on Bouvet Island
The British Antarctic Survey, a scientific research organization from the United Kingdom that focuses on researching the Antarctic region and the South Pole recently made an expedition to Bouvet Island. They came by boat and continued on the helicopter.
“Very beautiful, amazing and extraordinary,” said Liz Thomas, chairman of the researcher to the BBC news. Just so you know, 90 percent of the area is covered by glaciers (large chunks of ice that cover the surface of the soil). The only way is to take a helicopter to get there because the ship is difficult to lean.
The weather on Bouvet Island is also very extreme. A minute bright, a minute later dark and strong winds. In one year 300 snowstorms can occur!
What are the researchers doing there?
Liz Thomas explained, Bouvet Island was in the ‘western wind belt’ area. That is, the wind in the region is very important to change the world lately. The west wind has pushed up the surface of the water in the ocean and made the glaciers quickly melt.
“We are also researching ice on Bouvet Island. Later we will find out how global warming has been so far,” explained Liz Thomas.
According to Liz Thomas, ice on Bouvet Island holds a lot of interesting data to study. From global warming, rising sea levels, shifts of ice in Antarctica in ancient times (there is a suspicion that the ancient island of Bouvet was part of the mainland of the South Pole), the history of the ice age and whether there were life compounds there.
“We drilled the ice sheet to a depth of 14 meters to get the data,” he said.
The team from the British Antarctic Survey only stayed on Bouvet Island for a few hours. Extreme weather is considered quite dangerous.
Research from the British Antarctic Survey will be assisted by the Antarctic Circumpolar Expedition and the Swiss Polar Research Institute. Bouvet Island, the loneliest place on Earth, might later be able to help humans to better protect the planet.