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Countries You Didn’t Know Are Neighbors

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Wondering about the strangest borders in the world?

On surface, our planet looks like it’s been discovered to its full potential which is true to some extent. However, there are still tons of strange things in it which we have no idea about such as the things that could only be found in Asia, and Japan in particular.

The same rule goes for the borders between countries. While even geography nerds might think like they know all the corners of the world or strangest borders in the world, in reality there are still a lot we can learn that would amaze us map lovers.

In this post, we introduce you to the top 10 strangest borders in the world.

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1- Russia, North Korea, China

Everyone knows that Russia and China are huge countries, especially Russia. However, you probably did not expect to know that these three nations have a tripoint borderline near the town of Khasan in Russia and Tumangang in North Korea. A bridge connects these two cities, which is the only bridge between Russia and North Korea.

Non-Russian citizens are not allowed to visit Khasan. If foreigners attempt to visit Khasan, they will receive an official warning from the Russian government, and in more severe cases, they will get deported and even jailed. In 2022, American traveller and YouTuber Drew Binsky tried visiting Khasan and got arrested for a few hours with an official warning.

It is noteworthy that there are currently about 10,000 North Koreans working in Russian mines and fields. Also, the Russian and North Korean governments have very close ties economically and politically.

2- India, China, Bhutan

India, China, and Bhutan meet at a tripoint border in Tibet. However, if Tibet ever gains its independence from China, it would replace China in the tripoint. This border is also near Pradesh province in India, which China does recognize as its territory.

3- Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan

Afghanistan, Iran and Tajikistan share their own tripoint borderline in a mountainous area. This borderline should not be a surprise as all three of these nations used to be a part of the Persian Empire, and even to this date, they share (somewhat) similar culture in the nearby areas.

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4- Russia, USA

Wikipedia

Remember whe Sarah Palin, the Alaskan politician said “I can see Russia from my house”? She wasn’t joking! Russia and the US are real neighbors. In fact, United States and Russia are only 4 Km (2.4 Miles) away!

Back in 1859, USA bought Alaska from Russia for just $7.2 million and everyone in the US was against it, thinking it was a waste of tax money. However, on March 13, 1968 when the Atlantic Richfield Company and Humble Oil and Refining Company announced the discovery of oil on the North Slope of Alaska at Prudhoe Bay, the table turned around and that $7.2 million purchase became totally worth it!

In January 3, 1959, Alaska officially became a US state which made Russia and the US official neighbors with borders.

The Big Diomede and Small Diomede are

5- Iran, Saudi Arabia

It might not be surprising to think Iran and Saudi Arabia, two Middle Eastern countries are neighbors. However, by looking at the map you’ll realize that Iraq and Kuwait are between these two nations, therefore at the first glance, Iran and Saudi Arabia have no borders.

On the other hand, if you zoom in the middle of Persian Gulf, you will see two very tiny islands, one called the “Farsi Island” which belongs to Iran and the other one called the “Arabi Island” which belongs to Saudi Arabia. These islands are way too strategic for both countries, especially for Iran because of being close to the US navy bases and ships.

In 2016, Iran seized two United States Navy riverine command boats that entered Iranian waters in Farsi Island without permission. They were released 15 hours unharmed. The US government thanked Iran for its cooperation which is rare, especially after 1979 revolution in Iran.

6- Australia, Papua New Guinea

Queensland, Australia’s Talbot Islands are a collection of Torres Strait Islands. They are barely 4 kilometres from the Papua New Guinean mainland near the mouth of the Mai Kussa River, which is located between the Australian mainland and the island of New Guinea. They are also a few kilometres west of Saibai Island in the Torres Strait.

Australia is the largest island in the world with a number of small islands scattered near the main island. The Moimi Island, Queensland is the northernmost point of Australia w,hich is just 2.5 miles (4 km) from Kassa Island of Papua New Guinea! These two islands make Australia and Papua New Guinea officially neighbours!

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7- Russia, Latvia, Belarus

Google

Russia is the world’s largest country, and seeing its name on the list should not be a surprise as it goes from Western Europe to Asia to North America!

Russia, Latvia, and Belarus share a tripoint border with each other. There is a landmark called Friendship Kurgan on Latvian side with a couple monuments. However, official permit is needed from the Latvian government before visiting Friendship Kurgan. Otherwise, you will be stopped and it is somewhat considered a crime.

There is almost no border control between Belarus and Russia, but the Latvian border is controlled since it is an EU country.

8- Russia, Poland, Lithuania

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Russia has an exclave called Kaliningrad which has no land connection to Mainland Russia. Kaliningrad is surrounded by EU countries and has an interesting tripoint border with EU members Poland and Lithuania. On the contrary of number 7, there is no border between Poland and Lithuania while they protect their borders with Russia.

There is a monument on Polish side of the border called “Trelandspunkt PL/LT/RU”.

9- Russia, Finland, Norway

Google

Russia has a tripoint border with Finland and Norway which similar to number 8 has a guarded border on the Russian side with no physical border between Finland and Norway. There is a monument called “Treriksrøysa” on the Norwegian side of the border with a triangle which marks which side is where.

If you are keen to visit the actual tripoint place between Russia, Finland, and Sweden, you should be willing to go for a hike!

10- Spain, Morocco

It does not happen everyday to see a European country having border with an African country! But in fact, Spain has three borders with Morocco which has remained a debate between the two nations for a long time. The Spanish border within Africa is among the weirdest borders in the world.

Two Spanish cities of Melilla and Ceuta are located inside Morocco and have been subjects of refugees and immigrants who want easy access to the EU borders. These cities’ borders are heavily guarded by both Spain and Morocco, however, people still find their way inside these Spanish exclaves.

Let us know in the comments what you think about this list of strangest borders in the world.

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