Posted on 17 October 2010.
Man has revealed earth’s many secrets with the help of machines, vehicles, research and development. Most of the places on earth are accessible now with improvement in infrastructure and technology.
Deep, winding, dark, slippery and uninhabitable; caves also remain one of the least explored and documented places on earth. Caving is very popular in France, Italy, Australia, UK, United States etc. hence most of the caves currently documented are from Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia. However, China which has the highest limestone deposits in the world has very few explored caves. South America, Africa, Antarctica have not been explored to its maximum. The exact number of caves on Earth is still not known. Voronya Cave, Georgia the deepest known cave in the world too has not been completely explored due to its extremely inhospitable environment.
The Amazon rainforest contains 50% of the world’s rainforests. Its biodiversity is extremely vast as it supports numerous types of plant species and over 2,000 birds and mammals. Its climate and surroundings have invoked the interests of many large expeditions for explorations; however, its habitat has impeded thorough exploration of this region. About 2.5 million insect species and 438,000 species of plants have been officially documented with many left to be discovered.
No one knows what exactly lies beneath the icy terrain of Antarctica, with ice sheets 2 miles thick, it is also the coldest place on earth. Scientists believe there is a network of rivers, streams and stony land makes up its geography. Recently, the discovery of sub-glacial lakes has opened a new chapter in Antarctica’s exploration. There are possibilities of these lakes harboring life forms which can be studied thus providing useful answers to scientists about life in outer space. The ocean floor below the Antarctic has not yet been explored.
The deepest and darkest place in the ocean is the 35,800 feet deep Mariana Trench which is one of the least explored places on earth. Due to its depth and pressure of up to 1,000 atmospheres, the deep is completely hostile to humans. Even though scientific development has increased man’s knowledge about deep sea life with discovery of many new varieties of deep-sea creatures on the ocean floor only 2% of the ocean floor has been explored, leaving a lot more to be discovered. A study of the deep-ocean life will help scientists to understand deep-sea creatures’ unique living patterns in harsh ocean conditions.
Though we know of all the deserts on earth, very few explorations have been conducted as they have the least hospitable environments to sustain human life. Explorations have almost always been marked with tragedy and loss of life due to the harsh desert conditions. Scientists and extreme adventurers venture into deserts for research and thrill.
At an elevation of 7570 meters above sea level the Gangkhar Puensum has the distinction of being the highest unclimbed mountain on earth. Four unsuccessful expeditions have been carried out till date. Currently the government of Bhutan has prohibited climbing the mountain due to religious beliefs, and is unlikely to be conquered in the near future.
81% of Greenland is covered in ice, and hence it is also the least populated country in the world with major settlements situated on the ice-free coast. Greenland has only been explored up to a point as the climate and ice is unsuitable for human life. However, scientists carry out expeditions for research and development purposes in the Northern part of Greenland.
Siberia constitutes almost all of Northern Asia, of which western Siberia is covered in ice while eastern and central Siberia consists of mountain ranges. Recently many research expeditions are conducted by scientists and geologists to study its environment and ecology, as most of the population is concentrated in western Siberia.
The mountains of Northern Colombia have been unexplored until recently when a group of scientists embarked on a biological expedition. The Yariguies Mountains are home to a recently discovered species known as ‘Brush-Finch’.
The central range of high mountainous forest area is has been under protection due to its inclusion in New Guinea’s national parks. These forests are support lifestyles varied species of birds and animals. However, mining activities are posing threats to its fragile ecosystem.