a deer standing in the grass

In the realm of nature and wilderness, the term "wildness" carries a profound significance. This quality, which is inherently untamed, goes beyond its literal definition. It has been variously described as a quality produced by nature itself, an emergence from the heart of a forest, and even as a benchmark of achievement in the natural world. This article delves into the multifaceted concept of wildness, distinguishing it from its close relative, wilderness. Through the exploration of these definitions and its implications, we gain a deeper understanding of the untamed essence that exists in the natural world.

Defining Wildness

Wildness, in its essence, embodies the untamed and unbridled aspects of nature. One of the earliest interpretations of wildness comes from the writings of Henry David Thoreau in 1906. He saw it as a quality inherent in the natural world, a force that operates without human intervention. It is the unshackled spirit of nature, free from the constraints of civilization.

Emergence from the Forest

Another perspective on wildness, as presented by Micoud in 1993, associates it with what emerges from a forest. In this view, wildness is the very heart and soul of a forest, the life force that thrives within its depths. It is the cacophony of sounds, the rustling of leaves, and the myriad of creatures that inhabit this lush environment. This definition underscores the idea that wildness is not a mere quality but an integral part of the natural world.

A Benchmark of Achievement

Cookson, in 2004, introduced an intriguing interpretation of wildness as a level of achievement in nature. In this context, wildness becomes a testament to the resilience and adaptability of living organisms. It is a measure of their ability to thrive in challenging and untamed environments. The wildness of a species reflects its capacity to coexist with the ever-changing forces of nature.

Distinguishing Wildness from Wilderness

While wildness and wilderness share a common root in the untamed aspects of nature, they are distinct concepts. Let us compare and contrast these two terms:


  • Definition: Quality of being untamed in nature
  • Emergence: Inherent in nature, not location-bound
  • Achievement in Nature: Reflection of adaptability and resilience


  • Definition: Specific untamed natural environments
  • Emergence: Associated with particular landscapes
  • Achievement in Nature: Describes the environment itself

The Worldwide Impact

Wildness is not confined to a particular geographical location; it exists across the globe. Understanding its prevalence and significance on a global scale is essential. Let's explore this impact:

Longitude and Latitude

Wildness can be found at various longitude and latitude coordinates, from the dense Amazon rainforests in South America (Latitude: -3.4653, Longitude: -62.2159) to the vast Siberian taiga in Russia (Latitude: 61.5240, Longitude: 105.3188). These coordinates represent pockets of untamed beauty on our planet.


The presence of wildness is not limited by climate type. It thrives in tropical rainforests, arid deserts, frigid tundras, and temperate woodlands. This adaptability showcases the diverse nature of wildness.


Wildness isn't measured by human populations but rather by the flourishing of natural ecosystems. These areas are often sparsely populated by humans, allowing wildlife and natural processes to take center stage.

GDP (Gross Domestic Product)

Wildness doesn't have a direct relationship with GDP, as it's a natural quality. However, the conservation and sustainable use of wild areas can contribute to eco-tourism and research, which in turn can have economic benefits.

Official Languages and Currency

In wild areas, the official languages and currencies of nearby settlements are relevant. For example, in the Amazon rainforest, you'll find a multitude of indigenous languages and various currencies depending on the countries surrounding it.


The spiritual connection to wildness varies among cultures and religions. Indigenous belief systems often have deep connections to nature and wild places, considering them sacred.


Wildness knows no boundaries and exists on every continent. From the lush jungles of Africa to the pristine wilderness of Antarctica, the concept of wildness transcends continental divides.


In conclusion, wildness is a complex and multifaceted concept that encompasses the untamed, unbridled essence of the natural world. It is a quality inherent in nature, emerging from the heart of forests, and a testament to the resilience and adaptability of living organisms. While closely related to wilderness, it distinguishes itself by its broader scope and intrinsic connection to the natural world.

Wildness is not confined by geographic boundaries, climate, or human populations; it thrives across the globe, offering a glimpse into the untamed beauty of our planet. Understanding and appreciating wildness is not only essential for ecological conservation but also for fostering a deeper connection between humanity and the natural world. In a world increasingly shaped by human influence, preserving and cherishing wildness becomes an imperative task for the well-being of our planet and future generations.

Leave a Reply