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Bouvet Island :: Antarctica



This uninhabited, volcanic, Antarctic island is almost entirely covered by glaciers making it difficult to approach; it is recognized as the most remote island on Earth. (It is furthest in distance from any other point of land, 1,639 km from Antarctica.) Bouvet Island was discovered in 1739 by a French naval officer after whom it is named. No claim was made until 1825, when the British flag was raised. A few expeditions visited the island in the late 19th century. In 1929, the UK waived its claim in favor of Norway, which had occupied the island two years previously. In 1971, Norway designated Bouvet Island and the adjacent territorial waters a nature reserve. Since 1977, Norway has run an automated meteorological station and studied foraging strategies and distribution of fur seals and penguins on the island. In February 2006, an earthquake weakened the station's foundation causing it to be blown out to sea in a winter storm. Norway erected a new research station in 2014 that can hold six people for periods of two to four months.



island in the South Atlantic Ocean, southwest of the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa)

Geographic coordinates:

54 26 S, 3 24 E

Map references:

Antarctic Region


total: 49 sq km
land: 49 sq km
water: 0 sq km
country comparison to the world: 232

Area - comparative:

about 0.3 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km


29.6 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 4 nm




volcanic; coast is mostly inaccessible


lowest point: South Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Olavtoppen (Olav Peak) 780 m

Natural resources:


Land use:

agricultural land: 0% (2011 est.)
arable land: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 0% (2011 est.)
forest: 0% (2011 est.)
other: 100% (2011 est.)

Natural hazards:

occasional volcanism, rock slides; harsh climate, surrounded by pack ice in winter

Environment - current issues:

none; almost entirely ice covered

Geography - note:

almost entirely covered by glacial ice (93%); declared a nature reserve by Norway; the distance from Bouvet Island to Norway is 12,776 km, which is almost one-third the circumference of the earth

People and Society




Country name:

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Bouvet Island
etymology: named after the French naval officer Jean-Baptiste Charles BOUVET who discovered the island in 1739
note: pronounced boo-vay i-land

Dependency status:

territory of Norway; administered by the Polar Department of the Ministry of Justice and Oslo Police

Legal system:

the laws of Norway apply where applicable

Flag description:

the flag of Norway is used


Economic overview:

no economic activity; declared a nature reserve

Ease of Doing Business Index scores:


Internet country code:


Communications - note:

has an automated meteorological station


Ports and terminals:

none; offshore anchorage only

Military and Security

Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of Norway

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: