The world is quite a diverse place. Obvious statement, I know – but when you actually sit down and go through the literal highs and lows, the hots and the colds, it begins to sink in. So come with us as we explore the Earth’s extremes.
Lowest Point (on Land): Dead Sea
Located between Israel, Jordan, and Palestine is the lake known as the Dead Sea. Not only is it the lowest place on land at -424 metres (Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench wears the crown if you include oceanic depths), but it’s also one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world. Want to know how the Dead Sea got its name? Well it’s so salty that fish, plants, and other life forms we normally associate with water can’t survive in it – hence the ‘dead’. Instead, small amounts of bacteria and fungi are present – though even they struggle to eek out an existence.
Highest Point: Mt. Everest
This should really come as no surprise to most people – the highest point on Earth is Mt. Everest at 8,848 metres. Located in the massive Himalayan range, Mt. Everest has had a hold on the imagination of mountaineers ever since Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first scaled it in 1953. While the peak is now more accessible than ever thanks to experienced guides, the world’s most iconic mountain still holds dangers ranging from lack of oxygen to inclement weather.
Hottest Place: Death Valley
Location: California, USA
Much closer to home, in Southern California, you can find what is believed to be the hottest place on earth. With a whopping recorded temperature of 93.9°C on July 15, 1972 – Death Valley set a record that has yet to be broken. The one silver lining is that at least it’s not humid (take that Florida!).
Coldest Place: Antarctica
Location: Antarctica (duh)
While measurements may vary, the coldest temperature recorded on the frozen continent’s surface was a frigid -93.2°C on August 10, 2010. I know we Canadians pride ourselves on being able to withstand temperatures that most others would find unbearable – but I think even we might not have enough layers for this one.
Highest Vertical Drop: Mount Thor
Location: Nunavut, Canada
We included this one for a few reasons. One: it’s in Canada and we like Canada. Two: It has an awesome name. Three: We’re hoping people who are looking for the next Marvel movie accidently end up on our website. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying the sheer drop (a staggering 1,250 metres) is one of the most impressive natural features on the planet.
We could go on for pages and pages filled with the most extreme places on Earth. There’s the most northern point on Earth (it’s the North Pole). There’s also the most southern point on Earth (it’s the South Pole). Ever wondered what the most remote city with a population in excess of one million, from another city of at least that population was? No? Well it’s Auckland, New Zealand. You get the idea.
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