I wish to know what the the most isolated building in the world is, with "most isolated" being defined as "the longest distance to the closest building". Building complexes count as multiple buildings. A building is defined as any permanent man made structure that is used either for habitation or human activities. So this includes houses, office buildings, fixed rocket launch sites, military bases embedded into mountains,... Essentially everything apart from walls and other fortifications, small outdoor sheds not meant for living or working like outhouses or storage sheds and wells. For example: the Svalbard seed vault is considered a building, BUT it lies a couple hundred meters from the Svalbard airport, so it's not the most isolated building in the world.

Clarifying the comments: (Ant)Arctic research stations count as multiple buildings if they're modular like Halley VI. If they're 1 contiguous building, they're counted as 1 building. Tents don't count as permanent. I don't know enough about igloos to know how permanent they are, but let's say they don't count. Seldom inhabited radio stations count.

My own research has pointed towards the lighthouse on a remote island off the coast of Cornwall to be a likely contender, since it's 70 kilometers away from the nearest building.


4 Answers 4


IMPORTANT NOTE: From comments we have a photographic proof that in recent years there were two buildings (but in the same platform), so this answer do not fulfil the question requirements (later precised: Arctic research stations count as multiple buildings [which are similar to this]). (Until nature will destroy this station, and maybe a new one-single building will be constructed).

I suspect sometime the most isolated building is a hut/radio station on Bouvet_Island. Note: In theory, they also have an internet top domain (.bv).

Looking from Wikipedia and maps, I'm not sure there is only one single building, but it seems so. Note (from Wikipedia), sometime buildings were destroyed, and years later rebuilt. They may be inhabited for few months from time to time. So I assume, when the building is not destroyed by nature, it is the most remote building.

Why do I suggest the hut/radio station on this island? This island is the most remote place on Earth, so there is a good possibility that it also has the most remote buildings (also because I found no references that Bouvet ever had 2 or more huts).

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    I don't know if there are further buildings on the island, but the current research station is itself separated into two buildings. At least I would consider it as two separate buildings, although they are placed on the same plattform: npolar.no/norvegia Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 11:33
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    @PatrickMevzek There are no registrations, you can't register a domain with that TLD and there are no plans to open the TLD for registrations, so it has absolutely no practical significance that it "exists". Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 23:09
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    @DavidSupportsMonica But why? Any domain at any place in the DNS tree can exist without anything below. You are just creating new definitions. The bv domain (TLD) exists because if you query a root nameserver for it it does not say NXDOMAIN (domain does not exist) but gives back a reply. This is a proof of technical existence. You can instead choose any other definition that suits you, but the technical facts remain that this TLD exists. Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 0:45
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    That's where RoyG hosts his website.
    – xdhmoore
    Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 2:20
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    So are we saying that if there is one hut on this island it is clearly the most remote building, but as soon as they put up another hut next to it, it immediately loses this title and becomes no more remote than my garden shed? That seems a bit odd... Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 8:36

It may well be the Earhart Lighthouse on Howland Island, smack dab in the middle of the Pacific about 3000 km from Hawaii:

enter image description here (Courtesy Joann94024, Wikipedia)



Built in 1937 for Amelia Earhart's attempt to cross the Pacific and promptly abandoned. It's not entirely clear if it was ever really a habitable lighthouse, but it certainly is a "structure for human activities", and on casual inspection I can't find any other structures for hundreds of miles around. (Baker Island is not far away, but it appears to contain nothing at all.)

  • According to the Wikipedia there is a lighthouse on Baker Island (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baker_Island)
    – simon
    Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 11:57
  • There are things on baker island. desertedplaces.blogspot.com/2017/03/… and goo.gl/maps/f7Lq9XFoJEbFZbJT6
    – Legisey
    Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 12:12
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    @simon Curses! Jarvis Island might be a better bet then, but I'll let people poke at this for a while before I rewrite the answer. goo.gl/maps/cNSfMdDJYPNxPkQFA Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 14:10
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    I'm confused (noting this because you prominently mentioned it) that Wikipedia makes no mention of the lighthouse being [b]uilt for Amelia Earhart's attempt to cross the Pacific. The Wikipedia article states instead that a warship was used for intended guidance using the ship's radio equipment. The section on the lighthouse states it was named (when?) for Amelia Erhart but does not list its purpose as instrumental in the event (nor the year it was built). Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 23:31
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    "not entirely clear if it was ever really a habitable lighthouse": habitable? Do you see the size of the doorway? But lighthouses aren't generally inhabited; keepers typically lived (when lights typically had keepers) in an adjacent building.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 21, 2020 at 2:25

Answers to this type of question generally hinge upon exact meaning or interpretation of words. In this case "isolated", "building" and "in the world" seem to be key.

Since the concepts of isolation and what constitutes a building have already been discussed it seems relevant to address what "in the world" means. Taken literally it seems to imply within the planet earth, or under the surface. However, I suspect Glorfindel had a broader meaning in mind. Therefore, considering from a wider perspective, I'll expand my answer to include our entire solar system. With that in mind, the most remote structure which has helped house humans and remains intact to this day would be one of the NASA Apollo mission lunar landers.

There are 6 Apollo landing sites. Based on their distribution it appears that the Apollo 15 mission was the most remote. At each site the lower half of the lunar module along with many scientific instruments and whatever they no longer needed was left behind. This reduction of weight allowed the astronauts to maximize the amount of lunar samples they brought back. At the Apollo 15 landing site an electric lunar roving vehicle was also abandoned.

Apollo 15 lunar lander habitat structure

Map of all 6 Apollo landing sites

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    Sorry, I explicitly meant on Earth. Not in the solar system, just on our planet.
    – Nzall
    Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 15:45

In the spirit of jcklopp's answer

The part of the Apollo LEM which housed humans was the ascent stage, which ascended; the landing sites on the moon contain only the landing stage and various equipment, which probably wouldn't count as buildings.

Most of the ascent stages are destroyed, except Snoopy (which never landed) and possibly Eagle.

  • Snoopy never landed on the moon, but housed humans for 8 hours and is now in a heliocentric orbit; if that counts, it's definitely the most isolated.

  • Otherwise, the Eagle housed humans for over 24 hours, of which 21½ on the moon, including a sleep period, and may still be in a lunar orbit.

Both of these date to the 1960s, over 50 years ago; that may count as "permanent" by human standards, depending on the state they're in — whether they're still essentially serviceable (perhaps with a resupply and repair) or more akin to wrecks.

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