The New York Times last Thursday carried a feature about people who have sought solitude from the stresses of modern life by settling in remote places. A sidebar to the article contained brief portrayals of “Five Destinations for Solitude Seekers.” Those places include the Northern Territory of Australia, Greenland, Pitcairn Island, Svalbard, and Tristan da Cunha.

While some of those locations may have harsher climates, there is little doubt that Tristan is more isolated from human habitations than any other inhabited place on earth. It is about 1,700 miles west of Cape Town, the nearest community, in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean.

The article points out that while visitors are welcome there, the Island Council has to approve any applications from outsiders who want to live on Tristan. There are no spare dwellings, according to the Island Administrator, David Morley, and very few jobs. “It would not be a straightforward matter for someone to come here to settle,” he told the Times.