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Diomede Islands, the islands of yesterday, today and tomorrow

2 min read

Do you know which country is closest to the continental United States without sharing a land border?

At the narrowest part of the Bering Strait, about 82 kilometers (51 miles) is all that separates Cape Dezhnev, on the Chukotka Peninsula, and Cape Prince of Wales, on mainland Alaska.
But Russia’s Big Diomede Island is even closer to mainland Alaska, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) away, making it the closest non-border-sharing country to the continental U.S.
The distance between the two countries is actually much smaller, as just 3.8 kilometers (2.4 miles) separate Big Diomede Island (Russia) and Little Diomede Island (U.S.).

However another invisible line runs between the islands and inspired the nicknames “Yesterday Island” and “Tomorrow Island”.
Big Diomede and Little Diomede, in fact, sit on opposite sides of the International Date Line, which crosses the Pacific Ocean and marks the boundary between one calendar day and the next one.
Although the short distance between the Diomede Islands, the larger island is nearly a day ahead of its smaller neighbor (21 hours).
The ice bridge that forms between the two islands in winter makes it possible, albeit illegal, to walk the short distance that separates them and literally “travel through time”.

Images from web – Google Research