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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Beyond the Beyond

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, February 26, 2014/Categories: natural history

Ancient mariners had their admonition about "there be dragons", a warning of treacherous seas, while Tibetan monks spoke of a bayul, or hidden valley, that couldn't be found by trying. Many cultures have defined landscapes that were 'beyond the beyond', the very definition of faraway.

It is hard to imagine such remoteness today but Bouvet Island would surely quality. The volcanic island is located 1,100 miles north of Queen Maud Land, Antarctica and Tritan da Cunha, an equally remote island 1,400 miles to the north. No landscapes exist nearer.

According to NASA: The volcanic island is an extension of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the underwater mountain range in the Atlantic Ocean that divides the African and South American continental plates. Bouvet Island is near the junction of the African, South American, and Antarctic plates.

Bouvet Island, South Atlantic Ocean   (credit: Landsat 8)

With the exception of some rocky and black sand beaches, the volcanic island is completely covered by an icecap and glaciers. Bouvet definitely fits the definition of 'beyond the beyond' and will likely stay that way.


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