Aug 22, 2004

Interesting Facts

On the way back from Whitney, we're planning to go to vegas, and make a stop at Death Valley (the lowest dry point in the country) on the way. Now, just about everyone knows that the highest point in the world is Mt. Everest in Nepal/China - but what is the lowest point? So out of pure dumb curiosity, I did a brief web search and quickly found what I was looking for.

According to my souce, the lowest dry point in the world is the Bentley Subglacial Trench in Antartica, which is -2540m (-8333 feet), or 2540 meters below sea level. Death Valley, by comparison, is only -86m (-282 feet.) The glacier above it is also the deepest ice anywhere in the world. This was cool, but it wasn't what I was looking for because covered in frozen water is still covered in water - and I was looking for dry spots. The significance is, however, that it is the deepest part of the world that is not under sea water - in other words, the deepest lake (well, lakes cannot be frozen, but you see what I mean.)

So I went back to my source and I browsed my list and found that the lowest elevation of dry land - and it turns out that its the shore of the dead sea - the surface of which stands at -408m (-1399 feet below sea level), is the lowest dry point in the world. Neat.

Happy, but not quite satisfied, I wanted to know what the lowest point in the world was, under sea water or other wise. Turns out that there is a spot in the Pacific Ocean called the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, which is an amazing -10924m! (-35840 feet!) That is almost 7 MILES deep!

Now I can say I was satisfied. I did one web search looking for a single fact, and found a total of three related facts that just fascinated the heck out of me.

To review:
Lowest point in the world: Challenger Deep, 35,840 feet below sea level
Lowest point in the world not under sea level: Bentley Subglacial Trench, 8333 feet below sea level
Lowest dry point in the world: Shore of the Dead Sea, -1399 feet below sea level.