Oddities of geography

GranTurNismo

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A topic that's always fascinated me. What are some of the oddities of geography in your country? By "oddities in geography", I am referring to geographic facts that seem odd, surprising, unexpected, or just plain interesting.

Here are some in the USA.
  • Buffalo, NY is closer to Ft. Wayne, Indiana than it its to NYC.
  • West Virginia, despite being a "southern" state's northern panhandle extends as far north as New York City and almost as far north as the south tip of Connecticut.
  • Cairo, Illinois, is closer to Jackson, Mississippi and Birmingham, Alabama than it is to Chicago.
  • It takes almost ten hours to drive across North Carolina from east to west (542 miles).
  • There is a small peninsula in Kentucky that is completely separate from the rest of Kentucky due to the elevation changes of the Mississippi river, with a population of a few hundred, and is only accessible by driving through Tennessee first.
  • The southern part of Missouri is as far south as Raleigh, NC, Nashville, TN, and Amarillo, TX.
  • El Paso, TX, is closer to the Pacific Ocean and San Diego, CA than it is to Houston.
  • Houston, TX, is closer to Tallahassee, FL, than it is to El Paso.
  • The highest point in South Carolina, despite it being a "flat" state is higher than any mountain in Pennsylvania.
  • The western point of Virginia is farther west than the western point of West Virginia.
  • Reno, Nevada, despite being hundreds of miles inland, is farther west than Los Angeles.
  • You can drive through four states going south (Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia) all in a span of 30 minutes.
  • You can drive from Benton, Missouri, to northeastern Louisiana, without any change in elevation.
  • The north point of Texas (Dalhart) is closer to North Dakota than it is to Brownsville, TX.
  • The south point of Ontario is farther south than the northernmost point of California.
  • You must drive through Canada first in order to reach Northern Angle, Minnesota.
  • Alaska is the easternmost state in the US, not Maine.
  • The south point of NJ (Cape May Point) is farther south than Arlington, VA.
  • Russia is only two miles away from Alaska's westernmost point.
  • The entire state of Florida is farther south than California's southernmost point.
  • You must drive south from Detroit to enter Canada, not north.
  • The Mississippi River Watershed extends as war north and west as Alberta, as far southwest as New Mexico, and as far east as upstate NY.
  • Loving County, TX, is home to only 80 people. Yet Loving County is larger than most of the NYC metropolitan area, encompassing roughly 12 million people.
Let's get the ball rolling!
 
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Jimlaad43

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The length of Indonesia is longer than the United States.
Akshually
upload_2020-3-14_11-55-54.png


Anyone who calls me sad for spending the time searching for the exact spot of furthest distance is....completely right.
 

Famine

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Greenland is not only further north and west than Iceland, it's further south and east too.

upload_2020-6-6_13-46-28.png
 
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Greycap

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Most people probably think that Finland is at around the same latitude as Michigan or Buffalo. Well no... those are around a thousand miles to the south, we're pretty much exactly even with Alaska and Yukon here. My hometown is actually further to the north than Whitehorse in Yukon and only barely to the south of Anchorage. And this is southern Finland by all measures. Damn.
 

MatskiMonk

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People actually go to Barrow-in-Furness.

I know, I couldn't believe it either.

Also, the antipode of the antipodean islands is a little village near Cherbourg called Gatteville-le-Phare. This isn't an oddity, but it's useful for pub quizes.
 

wfooshee

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From a reply I gave some years ago to a group of Germans asking for advice about a week-long motorcycle tour of the US. I needed to shatter their expectations of the distances involved.
49659454003_7da317e5cc_o.jpg


London, England, to Baghdad, Iraq, is a shorter distance than Miami, Florida to Seattle, Washington.

If you cut Florida out of a map, you can't place it on Texas and keep it entirely within Texas, yet at no point in Florida are you more than 70 miles or so from not being in Florida.
 

kolio

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The historically haunted Alton, Illinois is in Illinois as you'd expect. However, West Alton is in Missouri, not Illinois.

And now the one that more people would actually know about, but not know about.

East St. Louis is in Illinois, not Missouri. Must say though, North County St. Louis is pretty dangerous, but East St. Louis is just as bad.
 

ScottPye20

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ScottPye20
Akshually
View attachment 899624

Anyone who calls me sad for spending the time searching for the exact spot of furthest distance is....completely right.
No, from the West Coast to the East Coast of the USA, not including Alaska.
indonesia length.JPG

USA length.JPG

3,214 miles vs 2,884 miles.
This video explains what I'm on about:
 

ScottPye20

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With stipulations like that, anything can be true.

It takes longer to cross North Dakota walking than it does to drive across Texas.
Those are two different methods of transportation. You're not exactly comparing apples to apples...
 
21,993
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TexRex72
Those are two different methods of transportation. You're not exactly comparing apples to apples...
Ignore all the states between California and Maine and the whole [contiguous] country is narrower than Texas. Probably.
 

TB

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Those are two different methods of transportation. You're not exactly comparing apples to apples...
But counting all of the islands of Indonesia and excluding Alaska from the US is fair?
 

ScottPye20

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But counting all of the islands of Indonesia and excluding Alaska from the US is fair?
No.:lol: But as I said, the distance from coast to coast is less than that of Indonesia.
 

Blitz24

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The Line Islands of Kiribati are located a bit east of the International Date Line and almost due south of Hawaii. However, instead of being in the same time zone as the Aloha State, they are actually 24 hours ahead because they are in a special time zone created for them.
 

Liquid

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Berlin is further north than London.

Kinshasa (Congo DR) and Brazzaville (ROC) are the two closest capital cities*; they face each other 10km apart on opposite banks of the Congo river.

The current shortest international flight is from Anguilla to Sint Maarten, two unrelated island territories in the Caribbean. Just 20km separate them.

Liechtenstein is the only definitively double-landlocked country; it is surrounded by Austria and Switzerland, two land locked countries. If you do not count the large, inland Caspian Sea as a "coast" and count it as an extremely large lake, whose definition it does meet as it has no outflow, then Uzbekistan is also double-landlocked, being surrounded by Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan; Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan border the Caspian Sea.

Due to counting all of its outlying possessions as part of its integral territory, France has the most timezones in the world, with 12.
Russia has 11 timezones but also has an exclave counted as integral territory.
China officially has just one timezone; Beijing time is the only authoritative timezone for the entire country.

Slovakia is home to Europe's centre point. It is a landlocked country but interestingly it is also home to two shipyards and a captain's training school. This is because of the River Danube; it is a major waterway flowing from Germany to the Black Sea via 9 other countries.

Still on the topic of the River Danube, there is a water bridge between it and the River Main. The River Main is connected with the River Rhein, making it possible to sail from the Black Sea at its most extreme eastern point in Georgia through the spine of Europe and out to the Ocean at the Netherlands along the Danube, then the Main, then the Rhein.

Bratislava, Slovakia is the only capital city that borders two countries; the city limits reach Slovakia's tripoint with Austria and Hungary.

1400w


*Not counting Rome and the Vatican
 
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Liquid

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In England, the smallest county is Rutland for half of the year and the Isle of Wight for the other half of the year.

At low tide, the Isle of Wight is bigger than Rutland.
At high tide, the Isle of Wight is smaller of Rutland.

So each trades the title of smallest county every half day. Add it up over the course of a year...

Edit: If you were to ask someone in England "What's the smallest county in England?", they'll probably say Rutland if they have heard of the place, which not everyone has because it's tiny, rural, has no nationally known settlements and is not a Somethingshire.

Most people don't think of the Isle of Wight because it used to be part of Hampshire in the past but is now a county in its own right.
 
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GranTurNismo

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  • Louisiana's coastline is more than twice as long as California's.
  • Istanbul, Turkey, the gateway to the Middle East, is as far north as Connecticut.
  • Cape Cod is not actually a cape, but an island.
  • Rhode island isn't an island nor is it even a peninsula.
  • The northernmost point of Ireland is farther north than anywhere in Northern Ireland.
  • Although more than 50% of Russia lives in one of two time zones, the entire country of Russia spans eleven time zones.
  • The average high temperature in Fairbanks, Alaska in the summer (the northernmost large city in the US, with a latitude of 65 degrees north) is 73 degrees. The average high temperature in the summer in Moosonee, Ontario (51 degrees north) is only 72 degrees.
  • Denver International Airport is so large that it is larger than the entirety of Manhattan.
  • The town of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, is four hours northwest of the actual Jersey Shore. And North East, Pennsylvania is in the northwestern corner of the state.
  • Detroit is closer to Atlanta than it is to Copper Bay, MI.
  • South Charleston, WV, is actually right north of Charleston.
  • Although China and Afghanistan share a narrow border, there is no way to cross into Afghanistan from China, as it is separated by mountains over 16,000 feet high.
  • The Appalachian Mountains extend as far southwest as western Mississippi, and as far northeast as the Albany, NY metro area.
  • Flagstaff, Arizona, gets more snowfall per year than Buffalo, NY, a lake-effect snow belt city.
  • The Derby Line Public Library building encompasses both Vermont and Canada.
  • Kingston, NJ, despite being one of the smallest towns in the state, is in three different counties (Mercer, Somerset, Middlesex).
  • New Jersey is also technically a peninsula, as it shares no actual land border with PA and DE, and most of its border with NY is also not a land border.
  • Bratislava, Slovakia, and Vienna, Austria, are the world's closest capitals, less than an hour away from each other and nearly in the same metropolitan area.
  • The smallest country in the world (Il Vaticano) can fit in into Russia nearly 39 million times.
  • Centerville, Ohio, is commonly mistakenly believed as the geographic center of the 48 contiguous US states, despite it being 837 miles east of the actual geographic center (the roof of a barn outside of Lebanon, KS).
 

Liquid

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Bratislava, Slovakia, and Vienna, Austria, are the world's closest capitals, less than an hour away from each other and nearly in the same metropolitan area.

Not true, unfortunately. I posted a few Bratvegas facts a few posts up though. :)

Kinshasa (Congo DR) and Brazzaville (ROC) are the two closest capital cities*; they face each other 10km apart on opposite banks of the Congo river.

*Not counting Rome and the Vatican
 

polysmut

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In England, the smallest county is Rutland for half of the year and the Isle of Wight for the other half of the year.

At low tide, the Isle of Wight is bigger than Rutland.
At high tide, the Isle of Wight is smaller of Rutland.

So each trades the title of smallest county every half day. Add it up over the course of a year...

Edit: If you were to ask someone in England "What's the smallest county in England?", they'll probably say Rutland if they have heard of the place, which not everyone has because it's tiny, rural, has no nationally known settlements and is not a Somethingshire.

Most people don't think of the Isle of Wight because it used to be part of Hampshire in the past but is now a county in its own right.
If you count ceremonial counties as counties then the City of London is the smallest.
 

Famine

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An unnamed lake within an unnamed island, within Nettilling Lake, within Baffin Island, is the largest lake within an island within a lake within an island in the world.

It has an island in it, which is also the largest island within a lake within an island within a lake within an island in the world.