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Earth’s natural wonders – survival in the extremes

Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression

Across the world, there are several breathtaking sights — Mount Everest, the Grand Canyon, the Amazon Rainforest. Although these natural wonders are awe-inspiring, they do not stand in isolation. People and animals live in these places, and each wonder has shaped their existence in fundamental ways.

Many of Earth’s natural wonders are among the world’s most inhospitable environments, each presenting unique challenges for their inhabitants. Yet, in even the most extreme and remote parts of our planet, people do survive.

These natural wonders are extreme, offering many challenges to the survival of human existence within them.

Humble humans have come up with ingenious strategies for survival in these far-flung and astonishing places. Survival techniques are forced to evolve quickly in the face of change, while human resilience, ingenuity, and bravery overcome the most extraordinary odds in the great struggle for life.

10 most extreme places on Earth:

  1. Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression and its landscape, which consists of burning salt, volcanic rock, and sulfuric acid, is considered the most uninhabitable place on Earth.
  2. Vostock station, an old Soviet Union outpost in the middle of Antarctica, is the coldest place on Earth.
  3. Death Valley, the hottest place on Earth, has such high average temperatures that tourists regularly try to fry eggs on the ground
  4. The Dry Valleys in Antarctica have had no rain for two million years, making it the world’s driest place.
  5. Mawsynram, India is the wettest place in the world. It experiences so much rainfall in a year that Rio de Janeiro’s 30 meter-tall Christ the Redeemer would be up to its knees in water.
  6. Driving in Aomori City, Japan, the snowiest place on Earth, can sometimes feel like you’re driving between glaciers.
  7. Mount Everest, the highest elevation in the world, is so high that one breath at sea level is equivalent to three on top.
  8. The Kīlauea volcano in Hawaii is the most active one in the world — and scientists are expecting an eruption soon.
  9. Commonwealth Bay in Antarctica has had winds up to 150 mph, making it the windiest place on Earth
  10. Bouvet Island, the most isolated place on Earth, has never become a commonly visited destination because of how far away it is from everything. The island in the South Atlantic belongs to Norway. The next closest land point to it is Queen Maud Land in Antarctica, which is 720 miles (1,160 kilometers) away.

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