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Extreme Places on Earth

Updated on October 10, 2013
Badwater Basin
Badwater Basin

Death Valley, California, USA

Death Valley is situated within the Mojavi desert and is the lowest, hottest and driest area in the world. There has been mention of a desert in Libya that has reached higher temperatures but Death Valley is the most consistent in temperature.

The Badwater Basin in this valley is 86 metres below sea level.

The valley contains salt pans which, according to geologists, housed inland seas which turned into desert, evaporating the water.

It has a sub tropical climate with long and extreme hot summers and mild winters with very little rainfall.

The valley is surrounded by mountains and the depth and shape of the valley influences the extreme weather conditions, almost like a convectional oven.

The hottest temperature ever recorded was 57 degrees, celcius.

It is a national park and afte r the goldrush was taken under protection by Edgar Hoover.

The Indian tribes have lived their for 1000 years.

Angel's Falls, Venezuela - Earth's Highest Waterfall

This waterfall is at 3230 feet in height and it is the highest waterfall on earth. It has an uninterrupted drop of 2647 feet and is located on a tributary of the Rio Caroni.

The height of the falls is so grand that when the particles reach the bottom it turns into fog.

Angel Falls drops over the edge of the Auyantepui Mountain in the Canaima National Park. It is a UNESCO world heritage site.

It also includes a 400 metre sloped cascade as well as rapids below the drop and 30 metre high plunge downstream of the Talus rapids.


A markerauyantepui venezuela -
Auyantepui, Canaima National Park, Venezuela
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The inahbitants village of Tristan da Cunha
The inahbitants village of Tristan da Cunha

Tristan da Cunha, The Most Remote Archipelago on Earth

The island is 2000 miles away from the nearest continent in the Southern Atlantic Ocean.

It was annexed by the United Kingdom in the 1800's and the inhabitants have a British postal code and it is part of the British territory of Saint Helena.

It is home to 272 people, sharing 8 surnames and hereditory complaints of asthma and glaucoma.

Tristan da Cunha is 11.7 km's in length with an area of 98km. It is the main island in a remote group of volcanic islands.

There is no space for an airstrip for planes to land and it is only accessible by boat.

Nightingale and Gough islands are uninhabited and not accessible.


Dallol, Ethiopia - The Hottest Place on Earth

It is nested on top of a 1000 metre thick layer of evaporates and the mountain is said to have been formed as a result of the intrusion of basaltic magma body underneath.

Three plates converge here and you can find hydrothermal deposits. Earth tremors are frequent and it is one of the lowest areas on earth not covered by water.

There are hot yellow sulphur fields and hot springs that could melt you away because of the acidity. These springs come out of the earth in between the craters that have formed.

It is extremely close to the earth's core and this is where they say, life began.

Dallol is 120 metres below sea level and has been repeatedly flooded. It was separated from the Dead Sea 30000 years ago.

The annual temperature is 94 degrees on average or 34 degrees Celsius.

It was a mining town in the 1960s but today it is a ghost town because of the extreme conditions.

It is about five hours away from civilisation and to get to the desert, you can take a camel caravan as long as you have armed bodyguards to get out of the Danekil Depression.



Hydrothermal deposits in the crators of Dallol
Hydrothermal deposits in the crators of Dallol
Trucks and cars lose battery power.
Trucks and cars lose battery power.
Extreme weather conditions in Oymyakon, Siberia where the people have adapted to the cold.
Extreme weather conditions in Oymyakon, Siberia where the people have adapted to the cold.

Oymyakon, Siberia - The Coldest Weather on Earth

Situated in a Russian village, a two day drive away from the city of Yakutsk is the coldest place on earth, where the extreme subarctic climate temperatures get to as low as -71 degrees Celsius.

The name Oymyakon means "non freezing water,"due to a nearby hotspring and is located 750 metres above sea level.

There is only three hours of sunlight each day in Winter and 21 hours in the summer.

The population is about 500 people.

Nothing grows here and the inhabitants live off reindeer and horse meat as well as ice fishermen trading. They do not suffer from malnourishment and their cars remain running throughout the day for fear of it not starting again.

It is also known as "The pole of Cold."

The locals have daily problems that they have to face such as the ink in their pens freezing, glasses sticking to their faces, batteries losing power and no cellphone reception.

They do have a university, schools and two airports. Tourists are invited there to experience the extreme weather and ice water.



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A markeroymyakon siberia -
Oymyakon, Sakha, Russia
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North Sentinel Island, Bay of Bengal - Neolithic Society of the Sentinelese

The island is situated between Bangalore and Bangkok, it is 28 square miles in size and modern man has never been able to venture there.

The Neolithic Society have been on the island for many years and it is said that the Neolithic period occurred 10 000 years before the birth of Christ.

The Sentinelese people are pre - neolithic which means that they do not use tools or have buildings and that they are simply, cave men living in modern times.

They are protective of the island and have not allowed anyone to come and explore nor remove them from their environment.

In 1880 was the closest that civilised man could get to the island and nobody has been there since. A man named Maurice Vidal Portman went to the island to study the Sentinelese but he realised that they were not friendly and very dangerous. He decided to abduct a few of the people and noticed that they could not survive away from the island. A few of them got very ill and he returned the remainder of his subjects back to the island.

Over the past 200 years people have tried to go to the island and have discovered that the Sentinelese are aggressive and unafraid of guns and ships and built boats to go out to sea and attack them.

People have described the Sentinelese as people with spears and arrows, who are extremely dangerous and violent. The island belongs to the Indian government who have banned travelling to the island and have estimated approximately 500 inhabitants.

The government has no idea why the neolithics die when they leave the island and have never seen the jungle or been on the island and have forbidden anyone to travel there.

Sentinelese people
Sentinelese people
Photographed from far away, the aggressive Sentinelese tribe
Photographed from far away, the aggressive Sentinelese tribe
Yellowstone Caldera Volcano
Yellowstone Caldera Volcano
Yellowstone eruption
Yellowstone eruption

Yellowstone Caldera, United State -SuperVolcano

This super volcano is situated in the Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. It is a new volcano that was created after a super eruption 640 000 years ago.

The Caldera lies over a hot spot where molten rock from the mantle rises towards the surface.

The Yellowstone hot spot is under a plateau, it helped with the creation of the Snake River Plain, through volcanic eruptions.

They experience 1000 - 2000 volcanic eruptions per year.

Yellowstone's magma chamber is still active and contains 15000 km's of melt.

In recent years geology has shown that the ground is rising at a rapid rate, the temperatures are changing and the seizmic swarms are frequent.

This is the worlds largest volcano and should it errupt it could render the entire United States uninhabitable as it would dump a 10 foot layer of volcanic ash 1000 miles away.

Pitch Lake, Trinidad - The Largest Natural Asphalt Deposit

Pitch Lake is located at La Brea, in Southwest Trinidad. The lake is 75 metres deep and 40 hectares wide.

The origin of the lake is related to deep faults under the Caribbean Plate and is at the intersection of two faults which forces oil from a deep deposit upwards.

Pitch Lake is alive and active and it also has a "fountain of Youth," with a high sulphur content, where old leaves from thousands of years ago have been spat out by the lake and look as good as new.

Underground fissures of asphalt cause the entire area around the lake to be unstable; road surfaces buckle and building foundations sink.

It is so thick that you can walk on its surface, however, the objects that get stuck in the path of the lake have been known to turn to stone and return youthful, years later.

Humans beware as walking on the water could cause many problems for you!

"Fountain of Youth," Pitch Lake La Brea
"Fountain of Youth," Pitch Lake La Brea
The asphalt continuously recreates itself.
The asphalt continuously recreates itself.

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    • Tashaonthetown profile image
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      Natasha Pelati 3 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you! Yes the conditions in these places are very extreme and I couldn't imagine living there in fear.

    • profile image

      Jeff 3 years ago

      I wonder how people can live in these extreme places. I love the information and will avoid the neolithic island for sure!