Top 10 Least Explored Places in the World

We humans tend to think that our modern technology has led to the conquering of Earth’s nature. Mother Nature begs to differ. This list is for those of you who want to forge a new path, or who would just like to read about how uncomfortable it might be to do so.


10. Greenland Ice Sheet

When Erik the Red found a place to settle, he named it Greenland. Scandinavian people far and wide competed for spots upon ships heading to this newfound paradise. When they got there, they were greeted by a country covered by 80% of sheer ice. Suffice it to say, people have seldom found a need to venture far from the shore or into the heart of their colonized ice cube. The Greenland ice sheet is a whopping 600 square miles in size. Perhaps people 2000 years from now will live the promises given to their ancestors because many scientists estimate that the ice sheet will melt by that time. The ice sheet has long served researchers well as an indicator of past climate change as they drill cores out of the ice.


9. Colombia’s North Mountains

It’s hard to tell just how unexplored the northern mountains of Columbia are, because guerrilla fighters don’t keep official records on the internet. Many bands of outlaws disappear into the area with plans to emerge at later, more opportune times. Most of the nearby residents, however, are peaceful, indigenous tribes. For every scientific expedition that is conducted, it seems that new flora and fauna are identified each time. The areas are home to extensive cloud rainforests that envelop these mountains in mist. These unexplored mountain ranges are best suited for naturalists interested in discovery. In 2006, a new bird species (Yariguies Brush Finch) was found in a previously unexplored region of the Yariguies Mountains, so called after the native people that used to inhabit them. More recently in 2010, a new subspecies of the bird Lachrymose Mountain Tanager was discovered.


8. The Amazon Rainforest

Even being under siege as it is, the Amazon Basin still holds a vast amount of untouched land. The Amazon Rainforest covers most of the basin and is so large, in fact, that there are still tribes of people untouched by modern civilization. The Amazon maintains perhaps the most species rich tract of tropical rainforest on the planet. It is beautiful to behold, but dangerous in traveling. Dense bush and a slew of venomous creatures keep the common person from delving too deep, but these devices don’t work as well against bulldozers and industrial equipment. What is thought to have grown some 35-54 million years ago is now being cut down by large swaths every day. Exasperating the problem is that many different countries claim a part of the Amazon as their own and so set the local policy for its treatment in that area. The Amazon claims over half the remaining rainforest in the world.


7. Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea has the distinction of being one of the world’s least explored countries. It is home to a prolific amount of fauna, flora, and indigenous peoples. Paradise birds amaze the eyes with an untold variety of dances and courtship rituals. The biodiversity is as amazing as the native cultures, and new species of plants and animals are found routinely. Scientists believe that countless other unidentified species inhabit the country’s inner jungle. When it comes to being a scientific haven, Papua New Guinea is comparable to places such as Madagascar and Belize. The rugged terrain of this country means that many areas are only accessible by airplane (unless you feel up for a huge amount of hiking and climbing).


6. Namibia

Namibia is the least populated country in Africa. A mere estimated 2.1 million people call almost 300,000 square miles home. After doing the math, it becomes clear that there is a lot of open space per citizen. There is a large amount of land for the people to take custodianship of, but Namibia is also the only country to include protection of the natural world in its governmental constitution. Even with a poaching problem all too common in most African countries, Namibia’s pro-environment policies protect thousands of square miles of largely unexplored deserts (including the famous Kalahari) and plateaus. Namibia is a great place for spotting endangered animals. Rhinos and cheetahs top the long list of animals facing eventual extinction. Namibia also houses many small, charismatic animals such as the ant bear and the notorious honey badger.  The race is on for this country to grow its ecotourism industry faster than poachers can lessen its biodiversity.

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