There are pockets of peoples and cultures around the world that have little contact with, or little access to, the outside world. Some of the following are indigenous tribes that have little understanding of the outside world; others are the product of centuries of imperialism and emigration, living on some of the earth’s most isolated lands. But they all share one thing in common — they’re living a life that most of us can hardly imagine.
See Also: 8 Strange Abandoned Places (Slideshow)
1. Sami People, Northern Scandinavia
Scandanavia’s only recognized indigenous group, the Sami people have been inhabiting the Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Northwestern Russia for over 5,000 years. Many Samis have been assimilated into the larger culture, including through forced assimilation policies by national governments. However, there are still a number of Samis in remote villages and practice their traditional occupation, reindeer herding.
2. St. Helena, Southern Atlantic Ocean
Perhaps best known as the site of Napoleon’s final exile, St. Helena is one of the most isolated islands on the planet. Humans first stepped foot on the island in 1502, and today the population is about 4,200. Currently, the island can only be reached by ship. However, the British government is financing the construction of an airport that will connect St. Helena with South Africa, and hopefully boost the weak economy.
Image Credit: Andrew Neaum via Wikimedia Commons
3. Sentinelese People, Andaman Islands, India
Little is known about the Sentinelese people, as they are fiercely opposed to contact with outsiders. What is known, though, is that they are hunter-gatherers that don’t seem to utilize any agricultural practices. Though researchers have attempted to begin contact with the tribe by leaving small gifts, the program was disbanded after contact with a neighboring tribe resulted in several deaths.
4. Tristan de Cunha, Southern Atlantic Ocean
Television only arrived on Tristan de Cunha in 2001. It is the most isolated inhabited island in the world, with a permanent population of around 275. Tracing their roots to 15 emigres from Europe and the United States, the island’s people share only seven last names. All families are farmers, and most workers also work for the local government or the lobster factory. Like St. Helena, Tristan de Cunha can only be reached by ship.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
5. Unnamed Tribe, Amazon Rainforest, Brazil
Images of a reportedly unknown and uncontacted tribe captured the world’s attention in 2010. The Brazilian government, however, had known of the unnamed tribe’s existence — they just didn’t publicize the information so they could prevent the tribe from disease. The little information known about the tribe has been discovered through aerial observation — they live in large, thatched huts and consume crops like bananas and corn. Though the Brazilian government is trying to protect their isolated culture, the tribe’s land is under threat from drug trafficking and illegal logging.
6. Pitcairn Islands, Southern Pacific Ocean
Most of the 48 residents of Pitcairn are the descendents of Bounty Mutineers and Tahitians that accompanied them. The least populated jurisdiction in the world, Pitcairn is a British Overseas Territory. Currently, Pitcairners only have electricity for 10 hours a day, though a wind power plant is in the works
Most of the economy is built around tourism, with visitors mostly staying in Pitcairner’s homes. All Pitcairners between 16 and 65 are required to help maintain the tiny island.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons