In our day and age it is very hard to believe that there are still places on the Earth that have yet to experience the touch of civilization. For a person living in a large modern city, using all the benefits of momentary communication, instant access to information and scores of others that have long ago ceased to be perceived as technological advances and became indivisible parts of our daily existence, it is hard indeed to grasp that there are still places which have scarcely ever been visited by people at all or still exist in the state they have been a thousand years before.
The least touched and the least populated region of our planet is, undoubtedly, Antarctica – the only place that has never been settled by human beings on a constant basis because it is incapable of sustaining their life – all the supplies have to be transported from outside and, although it possesses certain mineral wealth, its development is stopped both by prohibitive costs and international treaties that declare Antarctica to be an ecologically preserved zone.
Another example presents itself in Papua New Guinea, located in one of the less well explored regions of Earth. It has attracted the foreign attention considerably later than, for example, America or Australia and, as a result, for a long time it remained in almost pristine condition, being populated by people living in the same way their ancestors lived for centuries, if not millennia. And even after that it didn’t see much development due to local laws preventing it and difficulties of both getting to this distant territory and exploring its unfriendly terrain. Even now it has no developed infrastructure, which further hinders the foreign investment. However, it may be considered to be a paradise both for biologists and those who look to get away from civilization – according to some researches, Papua New Guinea provides habitat for hundreds of yet undiscovered species of plants and animals.
However, in order to be untouched by civilization a place shouldn’t necessarily be located in some God-forsaken part of the globe; it may just as well be in the middle of populated zone but possess certain qualities that make it so inhospitable and dangerous that there will be no reason for civilization to come there. As an example one can name Atacama Desert in Chile – one of the driest, hottest and most lifeless places on Earth. It is basically comprised of solidified lava flows and salt basins, which result in a landscape so peculiar that it is often compared with that of Mars – the correlation going so far as to allow for the usage of Atacama as the location for NASA tests and filming of Mars-related scenes in movies. It is also incredibly arid – all signs show that it didn’t see any rainfall since its discovery in 1577 to this day.
It may seem peculiar, but even today, in the time when people tend to live in overpopulated cities and there is a constant shortage of land, there are still places in this world that are almost completely undeveloped and untouched by humans. And quite often it is not because of their lack of natural resources or inhospitable climate – sometimes it is because of legal issues, sometimes because the costs of development are too high for any considerable gain – but they are still out there.
Stop asking “Who will write my essay on antropology?”