I’d like to introduce you to Nemo, Point Nemo. It’s a place, not a person, and it’s one of the (non)stops on our Round the World sailing adventure.
Point Nemo is named after Captain Nemo, from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, and it is one of the poles of inaccessibility – meaning it’s one of the hardest places to get to on Planet Earth.
Point Nemo isn’t an actual ‘point’ as there’s no land there — it’s simply a spot in the ocean that is 2,688 kilometers (1,450 nm) from the nearest land. Point Nemo is based at S48°52.6′, W123°23.6′.
If we pass Point Nemo at the right time of day, we’ll be closer to the astronauts in the International Space Station some 400km up in space, than any other humans on earth. In Latin, ‘nemo’ translates as ‘no man’ – which pretty much sums up how bleak this part of the world is!
In 1992, a Croatian-Canadian survey engineer called Hrvoje Lukatela used a geospatial computer program to find Point Nemo. He figured that because the Earth is three-dimensional, its most remote ocean point must sit the same distance away from three nearest coastlines. The area is also known as a “spacecraft cemetery” because hundreds of decommissioned satellites, space stations, and other spacecraft have been deposited there upon re-entering the atmosphere to lessen the risk of hitting any inhabited locations.
Cover Photo: Volvo Ocean Race