10 Bizarre Borders
A border between countries, cities, states or counties is just an imaginary line. One can determine that the border is crossed or passed because there are billboards like “You are leaving Oregon now” or “Welcome to California” when you are on the road and driving. It’s normal to see posts like these, but there are borders which look or sound really weird. So, without further ado, here are some of the world’s most unusual borders in no particular order of weirdness:
10. Spain/Morocco Border
The city of Ceuta with an area of 18.5 sq. km. or 7.1 sq. mi., a sovereign city in Spain, is by the border of North Africa and Morocco. The only thing separating Ceuta from the Iberian Peninsula is the Gibraltar Strait since Ceuta is lying on the border of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea.
The Moroccan government believes that Ceuta is part of Morocco together with Melilla, another self-ruling Spanish city and some other small Mediterranean islands around it. So, to prove their point, Spain constructed a border of 3 meters with cyclone wire on top.
Netherlands has a small town called Baarle-Nassau which is adjoined with Baarle-Hertog, a town in Belgium. The latter has twenty six parcels which are encircled by the former. But Baarle-Hertog owns some lands that have areas which are within Baarle-Nassau. Belgium owns a piece of land that measures .25 hectare or .67 acre. The border is chaotic and so confusing – some residential homes are stepping on both Netherlands and Belgium. See the image above: NL means Netherlands and B means Belgium.
8. Bir Tawil
Bir Tawil is not in Egypt or Sudan. It’s because these countries don’t want to own Bir Tawil as it has no significant land riches. This 795 square mile parcel (2,060 sq. km.) is under a lot of border controversy. In 1899, it was stated that Bir Tawil belongs to Sudan but in 1902, a new border was created making Bir Tawil a property of Egypt.
Now, Sudan and Egypt doesn’t want Bir Tawil. They both want Halaib because it is a fruitful land. But then, according to the laws created by United Kingdom in 1899, Halaib is Egypt’s. Then in 1902, it was altered, giving Halaib to Sudan. It is a mess, to say the least. Anyway, Bir Tawil is the only parcel outside aside from Antarctica that no one wants to claim.
7. Mount Everest
Isn’t Mount Everest in Nepal? So, why is it in the bizarre border list? Most people are aware that Everest is the tallest mountain on the planet. They also know that the highest peak is in Nepal. But what many are not aware of is that, Mount Everest is a part of China too. So yes, China and Nepal shares the mountain since the border lies at the center – it is also the tallest border, by the way.
6. District of Columbia
Maryland and Virginia is the reason why there is a District of Columbia – their land was excavated in the shape of a diamond which is now the District of Columbia. The boundary is also a bit odd because of its origin, measurements and position. To create a border, rocks were positioned a mile away. There were about 100 really big stones and on each side, the original district had 10 miles leeway. The north part of the District is near Silver Spring, Maryland.
To make it weirder, here is an example of the North East and North West boundaries while in the Eastern or Western Avenue. If you are in the north part, walking on the street – the District’s street, you will still be in Maryland or MD. Shops in that same street have different area codes (phone numbers) because one part is Maryland’s and the other is District of Columbia’s. It’s just so bewildering!
5. Derby Line, Vermont
Derby Line is a part-US and part-Canadian town. The boundary between the two countries affects residential homes, offices, buildings and more. For example, one part of the house is in Canada and when they go to the other room, it’s in the US. This is the same for the Haskell Free Library and Opera House in the town – the construction of the building was intended to be in the two countries. The stage is located in the Canadian side while the entrance is in the US. It also has two postal addresses – think about it!
4. Cooch-Behar District
You’ve read about Baarel-Nassau and Baarle-Hertog situation, right? Well, Cooch-Behar District is as confusing as that. Some lands within Bangladesh are part of India and some parcels within India are part of Bangladesh – did you get that? Balapara Khagrabari, an Indian land, is an example. Bangladesh is enveloping Balapara Khagrabari but then, the same land is surrounding a parcel owned by Bangladesh and then, another land is circled by it and owned by India called Dahala Khagrabari. Nothing in the world is as confusing as that.
3. Korean Demilitarized Zone
DMZ or Korean Demilitarized Zone serves to separate North Korea from South Korea. The border is 160 miles or 258 kilometers in distance and 2.5 miles or 4 kilometers wide. The zone is the most packed militarized in the world. Due to this reason, the border became a natural conservation area. Some animals – endangered species – call the place their home and are building their own animal family. The countries refer to it as the Military Demarcation Line or MDL. The two countries are still at war up to this day but a ceasefire was reached in 1953 even if there was no signed agreement of peace between them.
2. Tumen River
The Tumen River is a border involving three countries – North Korea, China and Russia. In the south part of this border is Lake Khasan which is partly in the Chinese zone. So, if you are from North Korea and you walk on foot for 800 meters or ½ mile going north, then, you will be stepping on Chinese lands and at the end of the walk, you will end up in Russia. This is just a theory and is not a great thing to do, by the way. Anyway, North Koreans try to defect around this area and their military people are always guarding the space because of that particular reason.
1. The Diomedes
The Bering Strait is host to islands called The Diomedes. There is the Little Diomede which is an American territory and living people in that island is 146. The Big Diomede, on the other hand, is a property of Russia and is believed to be desolate. The distance between Little and Big Diomede is 2 and a half miles or 4 km. Now, the IDL or International Date Line crosses the boundaries of United States of America and Russia, right? You think – what’s bizarre about that? Well, assuming you are in Big Diomede and 2.5 miles away is Little Diomede; because of the IDL, it is in a different time zone. Big Diomede meets the sun earlier than Little Diomede – exactly 21 hours ahead. Little Diomede has a webcam for visitors to enjoy looking at Big Diomede and it’s time difference.