**20 Unbelievable Places Where People Actually Live**

Living on the slope of an active volcano, in a remote icy location in Siberia, or on an incredibly inaccessible island—these are the 20 places where most people couldn’t imagine residing, yet there are those who do:

**20. Mount Merapi, Indonesia**

Affectionately called the “fire mountain,” Mount Merapi has been sporadically erupting for over 500 years, erupting more than 60 times in the last century alone. However, this hasn’t deterred nearly 250,000 people from living on its fertile slopes.

**19. Lake Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo/Rwanda**

Beneath the surface of this lake lie trillions of cubic meters of methane and carbon dioxide gas. If released, it could endanger over 2 million lives.

**18. Pitcairn Islands**

Sometimes dubbed “the smallest democracy on Earth,” this tiny nation is home to just 50 inhabitants, all descended from 9 families linked to the famous Bounty mutineers. With no harbor or airstrip, reaching this place is best done by canoe.

**17. La Rinconada, Peru**

Sitting over 5 kilometers above sea level in the Peruvian Andes, it’s known as the highest permanent settlement on Earth. The 30,000 people who live here work in gold mines, many suffering from mercury poisoning.

**16. Chernobyl, Ukraine**

Since a nuclear reactor exploded here in 1986, the area was almost entirely evacuated. However, these days, workers are found within the exclusion zone, though they’re limited in the number of days per week they can stay.

**15. Pompeii, Italy**

Famously buried by a volcano in 79 AD, people continued to inhabit its slopes due to its fertile soils. Despite being frequently covered in lava, some still consider it worth living here.

**14. Verkhoyansk, Russia**

The oldest city above the Arctic Circle is home to around 1500 people, who live in this frozen metropolis once used as a place of exile by both czars and Soviets.

**13. Barrow, Alaska, United States**

Famous for its long polar nights and extremely cold temperatures, Barrow sits on the shore of the Arctic Ocean.

**12. Tristan da Cunha**

Possibly the most remote inhabited place on Earth, Tristan is about 2000 miles from South Africa. If you plan to visit, note that residents aren’t too friendly to strangers, and immigration is entirely prohibited.

**11. Bajau Laut, Philippines**

Though not a village per se, an ethnic group primarily from the Philippines lives in floating houses in the ocean.

**10. Kifuka, Democratic Republic of Congo**

If you’re afraid of lightning, you definitely won’t want to visit here. This village experiences constant storms, with an average of 60 lightning strikes per square kilometer each year.

**9. Meghalaya, India**

This region of India is renowned for heavy rains and constant monsoons. Rain is so frequent it has influenced cultural traditions, local attire, and the unique plant life development in the area.

**8. Muli**

In this tiny village in the Faroe Islands, there’s almost no vegetation or natural resources. Needless to say, its few inhabitants are completely isolated.

**7. Motuo, China**

It’s one of the most difficult places to reach on Earth. The 10,000 residents of this valley are cut off from the rest of the world, with the only way in being a perilous trek through the mountains, which can take up to a week.

**6. Norilsk, Russia**

This city gathers high levels of pollution from factories amidst extreme Siberian cold. It’s not a good combination.

**5. Dallol, Ethiopia**

Home to the Earth’s lowest volcano, scorching temperatures remain above 40 degrees Celsius every day of the year. Apart from camels, there are no statistics on how many people have truly been able to live here, but most of this mining town has already been abandoned.

**4. La Oroya, Peru**

Almost all children living in this polluted city have some degree of lead poisoning due to the large amount of smelting in the area. It has repeatedly been considered one of the most polluted places on Earth.

**3. Oymyakon, Russia**

With temperatures during winter easily dropping to -60 degrees Celsius, this place has a population of 500.

**2. Death Valley, United States of America**

In the western hemisphere, there’s nowhere hotter than Death Valley. Holding the record of 57 degrees Celsius, today the only sign of life is a small community in Furnace Creek.

**1. Vostok Station, Antarctica**

Located at the South Pole, in the midst of East Antarctica’s ice sheet, Vostok Station has numerous reasons why it shouldn’t be inhabited. Not only does it hold the record for the lowest temperature on Earth at -89.2 degrees Celsius (recorded in 1983), but it also boasts very little oxygen due to its high elevation (3,488 meters). Most researchers who come to this place need several months to acclimatize and suffer numerous headaches, spasms, nosebleeds, vomiting, and other discomforts.