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Point Nemo, far from human life, is a victim of its own pollution after all

Point Nemo, far from human life, is a victim of its own pollution after all

Do you know which point in the ocean is the furthest from all the land? On this World Oceans Day, we take you to this inaccessible marine pole that scientists calculate is called Point Nemo.

Nemo like Jules Verne's famous Captain Nemo. Nemo, which means no one in Latin, and indeed there is no one thousands of kilometers away in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. The nearest inhabited island is 2,700 kilometers away, and the closest humans to it are astronauts from the International Space Station, which orbits only 416 kilometers above Point Nemo.

For a long time, oceanographers and geographers have sought to pinpoint the exact location of what we call “the ocean.” Marine pole due to lack of access : The furthest point from any surface of the Earth. He is a Canadian surveyor and computer engineer of Croatian origin. HRafuge Lukatilawho in 1992, thanks to clever calculations and above all thanks to the complex software of his invention, succeeded in determining its location by applying the vacuum circle theorem in mathematics in particular.

Point Nemo (named by Lucatella) lies exactly in the middle of this circle of oceanic space at latitude 48°52.6 south and longitude 123°23.6 west. You can type these numbers into your GPS and you will see that Point Nemo is equidistant from three small islands in the Pacific Ocean, and three “pebbles” are located 2,688 km from this point: to the north of Dulce Atoll with Pandora, the rebel island of the Bounty, to the northwest is the small Chilean island of Motu Nui, next to Easter Island and to the south is the small island of Maher off the coast of Antarctica. A great sea circle of inaccessibility that is particularly feared by the captain of the Vendée Globe and all the sailors on their way to Cape Horn, because they will have to wait for two weeks for help to be able to reach this area of ​​the ocean. Away from any ground surface.

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It is this sheer remoteness and expanse of this region of the South Pacific, at the end of the world, that makes it, terrible enough to highlight, a garbage dump, a graveyard for space debris. This giant area, this circle of void around Point Nemo is called SPOA, which is short for The South Pacific region is uninhabitedIt's the perfect place to land spacecraft at the end of their lives… We have to get rid of them, right? And on land, it can be dangerous.

Then, far from everything and everyone, far from any national jurisdiction, in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, lie the remains of the Russian space station Mir, along with about 300 pieces of American, European or Japanese space debris. This is also where the International Space Station will end up International Space Station, at the bottom of the South Pacific Ocean. Deorbit is scheduled for January 2031, just above the famous Point Nemo, the farthest point from any Earth's surface.

Listen tooWhy study the ocean from space?