With everything that development has brought into our modern world, it's refreshing to know that there are still places on the planet that are virtually untouched by mankind. Here are 10 wild places in our wide world.
Northern Territories of Canada
Sparsely populated, mostly by people of native North American Indian and Inuit descent, Canada's three northern territories — Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut — still retain large swaths of pristine, forested wilderness.
Above the 50th parallel on the other side of the world lies Siberia, a place almost synonymous with desolation. Like the Canadian North, this wild expanse is mostly composed of taiga forest on former glaciated territory — areas that are blanketed with white during harsh, long winters.
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Tourism may be a huge draw to this Ecuadorian archipelago in the Pacific, but a lot of money collected here goes toward the conservation of its numerous islands. It is here that research into animal species such as marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and frigate birds became an integral part of Darwin's Theory of Evolution.
The Seychelles may be a sought-out tourist destination, but tourism hasn't completely tainted the islands. In fact, this archipelago in the Indian Ocean has the largest percentage of land under conservation by law of any country in the world — about 50 percent — which is good news for the more than 2,000 endemic species that live there.
The bottom of the world has some of the coldest, windiest and driest conditions on the planet. It's no wonder most of Antarctica is untouched by mankind. Aside from a few research bases scattered sparsely around the icy continent, it's virtually uninhabited — except by penguins, who might want to leave if only they had the ability to fly.
With 3.5 million square miles of barren land full of wind-carved sand dunes, the Sahara brings forth daytime heat waves and harsh, dry conditions unappealing to most civilizations. It's wild because most people simply couldn't live there.
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The Gobi Desert
Situated in Mongolia, the Gobi Desert is the largest desert in Asia. It's actually growing, with sands overtaking grasslands in northern China — which isn't good news for Chinese farmers. Perhaps it's Mother Nature's way of taking back the wilderness, making conditions uninhabitable for humans.
It it believed that the cures for many of mankind's diseases could be found in the Amazon Rainforest — the world's largest — which encompasses most of northern inland South America. Plenty of conservancies strive to keep it this way, for the Amazon is under constant threat of deforestation from the timber industry and cattle ranching.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea's environment is also its defense mechanism. Its rugged terrain of rolling volcanic hills and thick tropical rainforest have made it difficult for outside companies to exploit its natural resources. It has also made it hard to establish a transportation network, leaving the wilderness for the most part undisturbed.
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The Briny Deep
The oceans, vast and seemingly limitless, are full of mysteries. It's taken centuries for humans to actually explore the deepest part of the ocean, Mariana's Trench, and we've seen only a mere fraction of it. There's a whole wild world within our world, yet to be explored. Or, perhaps it will forever remain untouched.