Mainland Russia and Mainland Alaska narrow down immensely are apart by merely 55 miles. However, the Bering Strait, a body of water between Russia and Alaska, is home to two islands known as Big Diomede and Little Diomede. The two islands are quite small in size.
Another interesting fact about these two islands is that the Big Diomede is owned or administered by Russia while the Little Diomede is owned or administered by the United States. The stretch of water or the distance between these two islands is hardly around 2.5 miles wide. Additionally, this little stretch freezes completely during the winter which means you could technically walk from the United States to Russia.
Let’s Talk A Little About Russia And Alaska
It is the largest country in the world. Russia’s total area is 6,601,670 square miles. Russia is located in North Asia and Eastern Europe. Eurasia, the largest continental area on the planet extends towards the Pacific Ocean. Therefore, Russia extends towards Alaska covering all of its huge area, 6.6 million square miles, in the Kamchatka Krai region around the eastern side.
The Kamchatka Peninsula borders the Pacific Ocean. The Kamchatka Peninsula is also the nearest point to Alaska. This zone around the peninsula is surrounded by mountains, cliffs, tundra, and forests.
Several volcanic ranges are also found in the region. The Karaginsky and the Commander Islands are found on this side’s edge of Russia.
It is a State in the United States of America. Alaska mainly falls in the North America Continent. It may be the largest state considering land size, Alaska remains among the least populated states in the entire United States of America.
Alaska is located in the extreme northwest of the North American continent, and the State shares a maritime border with Russia towards the western side. Towards the south and southwest side, spreads the largest ocean in the world, the Pacific Ocean.
The Aleutian Islands make sure that Alaska gets the largest share of the easterly longitude among all the states of the United States. It is primarily because the Aleutian Islands extend to the Eastern Hemisphere.
Water bodies in Alaska’s territory touch Russia in the Bering Strait. Overall Alaska covers an area of 663,268 square miles. Alaska has the longest coastline among the other States and numerous Volcano Islands that stretch over 1,200 miles and into the Pacific Ocean towards Russia.
The Point Where Alaska And Russia Are Closest Geographically
The nearest geographical point between Russia and the United States borders lies in a location in the Pacific Ocean, the Bering Strait.
Located mainly between the state of Alaska and midland Siberia are two islands, smaller than an average island. To the north lie the Chukchi Sea and the Bering Sea to the south.
The International Date Line (IDL) separates the two islands, which is the border between the United States of America and Russia.
A poultry distance of 2.4 miles or 3.8 kilometers separates these two islands.
The Little Diomedes is just 0.6 kilometers or 0.4 miles away from the International Date Line. Whereas The Big Diomedes is just 1.3 kilometers or 0.81 miles west of the International Date Line.
The Bering Strait Crossing And Why It’s Talked About?
Speaking hypothetically, a person can use a bridge to move from Alaska to Russia and vice versa. This hypothetical bridge from a tunnel across the Diomede Islands and the Bering Strait crossing would provide a direct link between Alaska and Russia.
The connecting points from Alaska are the Seward Peninsula that links to the Chukotka Peninsula in Russia.
If this bridge was real then only 25 miles or 40 kilometers would have separated Alaska and Diomede Islands. Also, a tunnel would have been constructed connecting it to Russia from the Diomede Islands. Thereafter, the islands could easily be connected by making a travelable path through the tunnel.
Traveling From Alaska To Russia Via Air
Traveling by air, the nearest airports of Russia and Alaska are distanced by 2,949 miles and thereabouts. Roughly a 5-hour flight should get you across the other side. If a person is planning to travel from Vladivostok to Provideniya, they would have to charter a plane straight to Nome in Alaska.
Differences Of Political Separation
The political separation between Russia and Alaska occurred when the United States of America purchased Alaska from Russia in March of 1867. Thus, a new border was also drawn between the two islands further separating them. When the Cold War was at its peak, a section of the Bering Strait that passes directly between the two islands Big Diomedes and Little Diomedes was nicknamed the “Ice Curtain” by inhabitants.
The Difference In The Time Zone
As we all know the International Date Line separates the islands Big Diomedes and Little Diomedes, they are referred to as the Tomorrow Island and the Yesterday Isle. The Tomorrow Island or the Big Diomedes is 21 hours ahead of the Yesterday Isle or the Little Diomedes.
Although till this day some people wrongly think the two islands are separated by 23 hours.
The islands Big Diomedes and Little Diomedes were named after the great Greek saint Diomede. A navigator of Danish-Russian inheritance, Vitus Bering, named the two islands and was also the first person to sight the islands in the year 1728 on the 16th of August. The reason behind naming the islands after the Greek saint’s name was that it was sighted on the same day as the great saint’s feast day.
The Temperature Difference
As it is merely 52 miles south of the Arctic Circle, the islands consistently have a mild temperature during the summer months, fluctuating between 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, during the winters, the temperature dips way below freezing points, averaging between 6-degrees and 10-degrees Fahrenheit.
Is It possible To Swim Across The Bering Strait?
Swimmers in the past have dared to do the unthinkable and have made it across the ocean. A swimmer named Philippe Croizon who is also a French athlete and a quadruple amputee once managed to swim across the Bering Strait from Alaska to Russia in roughly 80 minutes.
If the governments of both the United States of America and Russia agree and work towards building infrastructure and providing necessary resources, the distance between Alaska and Russia can be travelled much faster than possible today.
The bridge or tunnel we talked about above will make the transportation and movement of goods and people easier, more efficient, and Fast.
All said and done, the situation as of now doesn’t seem movement between the United States of America and Russia can be seamless.
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