Chaitanya's Random Pages

January 31, 2013

Some noteworthy time zones

Filed under: geography — ckrao @ 11:10 am

I was recently learning about time zones and thought I would collect some notes about some of the more interesting ones here. In total there are 40 time zones spanning the globe.

  • UTC – 12:00: Nobody lives here (it covers the uninhabited US islands of Baker Island and Howland Island in the Pacific)
  • UTC -11:00: Samoa used to be in this time zone but it switched to UTC+13, skipping 30 December 2011 in the process.
  • UTC -9:30: Only covered by the Marquesas Islands (French Polynesia), population ~9,000.
  • UTC -4:30: Used in Venezuela since December 9 2007 (previously used UTC -4:00)
  • UTC -3:30: Used in southeastern Labrador and Newfoundland, Canada
  • UTC -1:00: Used in Cape Verde, eastern Greenland (in winter) and the Azores (Portugal, in winter)
  • UTC +3:30: Used by Iran in winter
  • UTC +4:30: Used by Afghanistan and Iran (in summer)
  • UTC +5:30: Used in India and Sri Lanka, the world’s second most populated time zone
  • UTC +5:45: Used in Nepal since 1986
  • UTC +6:30: Used in Myanmar and Cocos Islands (Australia)
  • UTC +8:45: Unofficial time zone used in Eucla and surrounds, Western Australia, population ~200
  • UTC +9:30: Used in Northern Territory, South Australia (winter), western New South Wales around Broken Hill (winter) (all in Australia)
  • UTC +10:30: Used in Lord Howe Island, South Australia (summer), western New South Wales around Broken Hill (summer) (all in Australia)
  • UTC +11:30: Used in Norfolk Island (Australia)
  • UTC +12:45: Used in Chatham Islands (New Zealand)
  • UTC +14:00: The highest time zone (used by the Line Islands of Kiribati)

Here are the time zones used in the past but not at present.

  • UTC -10:30: Used by Hawaii from 1900 to 1947 (now UTC -10:00)
  • UTC -8:30: Used in Pitcairn Islands (UK) until 1998 (now UTC -8:00)
  • UTC -0:44: Used in Liberia from 1919 to 1972 (now UTC 0:00)
  • UTC -0:25: Used in Ireland from 1880 to 1916 (now UTC 0:00 in winter)
  • UTC +0:20: Used in Netherlands from 1909 to 1940 (now UTC +1:00 in winter)
  • UTC +0:30: Sandringham time used in the British royal household, 1901-1936
  • UTC +1:30: Was used in present-day Nambia and parts of South Africa, 1892-1903
  • UTC +2:30: Was used in Moscow in late 19th century (now UTC +4:00 in winter)
  • UTC +4:51: Used as Bombay time (India) until 1951
  • UTC +7:20: Was used as daylight saving time in Singapore between 1933 and 1940
  • UTC +7:30: Used in Singapore before 1970 (now UTC +8:00)
  • UTC +8:30: Formerly used in north eastern China and South Korea
  • UTC +9:45: Unofficially used in Eucla and surrounds (Australia, see above) in summer when Western Australia had daylight saving

References

[1] Time zone (Wikipedia)

[2] List of time zones by UTC offset (Wikipedia)

October 18, 2012

World population hot spots

Filed under: geography — ckrao @ 4:59 pm

Some time ago I displayed the world’s main large and dense population regions, shown below. By large, I mean significantly larger than a city.

Below are the places indicated. The January 2010 population estimates are my own based largely on:

Another interesting look at densely populated areas is this interactive map by Derek Watkins.

1. Ganges River Valley – 665 million people in 723,000 \text{km}^2 (920/\text{km}^2), mostly rural

  • 64m in 91,200\text{km}^2 in Islamabad and much of Punjab (Pakistan)
  • 27m in 50,400\text{km}^2 in Punjab (India)
  • 24m in 44,200\text{km}^2 in Haryana
  • 17m in 15,000\text{km}^2 in Delhi
  • 181m in 204,700\text{km}^2 in most of Uttar Pradesh
  • 96m in 94,200\text{km}^2 in Bihar
  • 90m in 88,800\text{km}^2 in West Bengal
  • 162m in 147,600\text{km}^2 in Bangladesh

major cities: Islamabad, Lahore, Delhi, Kanpur, Kolkata, Dhaka

2. East China – 495 million people in 901,600 \text{km}^2 (550/\text{km}^2)

  • 95m in 153,300\text{km}^2 in Shandong
  • 95m in 167,000\text{km}^2 in Henan
  • 77m in 102,600\text{km}^2 in Jiangsu
  • 70m in 202,700\text{km}^2 in Hebei
  • 62m in 139,900\text{km}^2 in Anhui
  • 51m in 101,800\text{km}^2 in Zhejiang
  • 19m in 6,200\text{km}^2 in Shanghai
  • 16m in 16,800\text{km}^2 in Beijing
  • 11m in 11,300\text{km}^2 in Tianjin

The area includes around 90m in 100,000\text{km}^2 around the Yangtze River Delta, which may have the largest concentration of metropolitan areas in the world: Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Ningbo and Nanjing.

3. Java – 135 million people in 132,200\text{km}^2 (1020/\text{km}^2)

The most populated island on the planet:

  • 41m in 38000\text{km}^2 in Western Java
  • 38m in 47900\text{km}^2 in Eastern Java
  • 34m in 34200\text{km}^2 in Central Java
  • 10m in 8200\text{km}^2 in Banten
  • 9m in 700\text{km}^2 in Jakarta
  • 4m in 3200\text{km}^2 in Yogyakarta

4. Sichuan Basin – 96 million people in 217,000\text{km}^2 (441/\text{km}^2)

  • 73 million in 169,600\text{km}^2 in eastern Sichuan
  • 22 million in 47,500\text{km}^2 in western Chongqing

5. Blue Banana – 94 million people in 189,000\text{km}^2 (500/\text{km}^2)

  • 26m in 34000\text{km}^2 in UK (inc London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool)
  • 8.8m in 17600\text{km}^2 in Belgium
  • 14m in 22800\text{km}^2 in Netherlands
  • 31.4m in 74500\text{km}^2 in Germany (inc Essen-Dortmund, Frankfurt, Stuttgart)
  • 4m in 20200\text{km}^2 in Switzerland (inc Zurich)
  • 8.6m in 19300\text{km}^2 in Italy (inc Milan, Torino)

6. Nile Valley – 73 million people in 47,200\text{km}^2 (1540/\text{km}^2)

95% of Egyptians live in less than 5% of the country’s land area.

7. Taiheiyō Belt – 78 million people in 60,700\text{km}^2 (1280/\text{km}^2)

Includes Tokyo-Yokohama (35m), Osaka-Kobe (17m), Nagoya (9m), Fukuoka (2.5m)

8. Northeast Megalopolis – 49 million people in 85,800\text{km}^2 (570/\text{km}^2)

Includes 5.8m in Boston, 22.2m in greater New York City, 6m in Philadelphia, 8.3m in Washington DC + Baltimore

9. Pearl River Delta – 48 million people in 32,000\text{km}^2 (1490/\text{km}^2)

This is economically the fastest growing part of China and includes the following major centres:

  • Guangzhou (10m)
  • Shenzhen (8.6m)
  • Hong Kong (7m)
  • Dongguan (6.4m)
  • Foshan (3.4m)
  • Jiangmen (3.7m)
  • Zhongshan (2.5m)
  • Zhuhai (1.5m)
  • Macau (550k people in just 28 square kilometres)

June 26, 2012

Exports and Imports by Country

Filed under: geography — ckrao @ 1:08 pm

I recently had a look at the Year Book Australia, 2012 and was interested in seeing the current state of Australian Industry. From this page on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website, in 2010-2011 Australia had a GDP of around 1.32 trillion Australian dollars ($58k per capita) with the following breakdown by sector.

One can see here how the Construction and Financial and Insurance sectors have increased in GDP share over the past decade while manufacturing has decreased. Interestingly Mining is only around 7% of GDP and this figure has remained steady from ten years ago.

In mining as of 2009 Australia was the world’s largest “producer” of iron ore, and fourth largest (behind China, USA, India) of coal. Interestingly four countries produce 75% of the world’s iron ore: Australia, Brazil, India and China.

In 2009-2010 Australia had a business expenditure on Research and Development of around 1.3% of its GDP on (source: here)

Imports and exports were each of value around 20% of GDP (source: here). I stumbled onto the Observatory of Economic Complexity that helps one to visualise the breakdown further, over the last 15 years.

Compare the 1995 and 2010 breakdowns to see how China has become Australia’s largest export partner.

Countries Australia exports to in 1995 (left) and 2010 (right)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next we see a breakdown of Australian exports and imports by sector. Note how dominant the mineral products have become.

Australian Exports in 1995 (left) and 2010 (right)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally we see machinery and transportation dominating Australian imports.

Australian Imports in 1995 (left) and 2010 (right)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more such tree maps, see this list of countries by economic complexity.

June 11, 2012

Curious high or low temperature spots

Filed under: climate and weather,geography — ckrao @ 12:17 am

Here I provide a list of some places that go against our intuition about being surprisingly hot or cold at a certain time of the year given their latitude. Most of the places chosen are close enough to sea level so that elevation is not the cause (more likely ocean or continental influence).

  1. The east coast of Australia up to Sydney and Newcastle has a mid summer average maximum temperature of only 25.5°C – highly unusual for the east coast of a continent. At a corresponding latitude (33° from equator) the mid summer maximum at the east coast of Asia (Shanghai at 31°N) is 31.8°C, of South America (Buenos Aires at 34.6°S) is 30.4°C and in North America (Charleston, NC, USA) is 32.8°C.
  2. Walvis Bay, Namibia is in the tropics (23°S) yet has a mid summer average maximum temperature of only 22°C! Western South America is similarly cool with a mid summer average maximum of 25°C (Antofagasta, Chile). The corresponding west coast place in Australia has an average maximum of 32.4°C (Carnarvon at 25°S), in Africa 27°C (Dakhla, Western Sahara at 23.7°N), and in North America 32.4°C (Mazatlán, Mexico).
  3. Eureka, CA (USA) at 40.8°N has an average maximum of only 17.7°C in its warmest month. Contrast this with Fairbanks, Alaska at 65°N which still reaches an average 23°C in its warmest month with an all-time high of 37°C!
  4. Kyzyl, the capital of the Tuva republic in Russia, has an average maximum of 27°C in July and average minimum of -35°C in January! London is at the same latitude.
  5. Iceland and Ireland have very low variation between summer and winter temperatures due to ocean currents of the East Atlantic. Reykjavik, Iceland averages 2°C maximum in its coldest month up to 13°C in its warmest.
  6. The Turpan depression in northwest China surely has the hottest summer temperatures for a place so far from the equator. For example Turpan at 43°N has an average maximum of 40°C in July! A similar hot spot is Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (38°N) with an average maximum of 38°C in July. It has the same distance from the equator as Melbourne, Australia which only has an average maximum of 26°C in mid summer.
  7. Tromsø, Norway is at 69.7°N (hence beyond the arctic circle) yet in its coldest month its average temperature range is -6.5 to -2.2°C.
  8. Some parts of southern China are surprisingly cool for their latitude in winter. For example Guilin in Guangxi province is at 25°N and only 150m in elevation, yet has a range of 5.4 to 11.5°C in January (cooler than Tromsø’s warmest month!)
  9. Lima, Peru is coastal, only 12° south of the equator, yet has a maximum temperature range from 18.4° to 26.5°C from coolest to warmest months. Contrast this with Chennai, India which is also coastal and whose corresponding range is 29° to 38°C.
  10. The Southern Ocean shows very little variation between summer and winter temperatures. For example Bird Island in South Georgia at 54°S ranges from an average minimum of -5.4°C in its coldest month to an average maximum of 5.6°C in its warmest month.

Below is a map of showing all the places mentioned in this post.

March 31, 2012

Distribution of the Area of Countries

Filed under: geography — ckrao @ 4:12 am

I was looking at this list of countries by area and noticed something unusual – not that many have area between 1,000 and 10,000 square kilometres. The following table confirms this.

Area \left(\times 10^3 \text{km}^2\right) # “countries” excluded (if area > 1000 sq km)
< .25 7
.25-.5 10
.5-1 8
1-2 1 Guadeloupe, Faroe Islands, Martinique,
Hong Kong
2-4 3 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands,
Réunion
4-8 3 French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Palestinian territories,
French Polynesia
8-16 10 Falkland Islands, Puerto Rico
16-32 18 New Caledonia
32-64 14 Svalbard
64-128 26 French Guiana
128-256 20
256-512 26 Western Sahara
512-1024 22
1024-2048 16
2048-4096 6 Greenland
4096-8192 1
8192-16384 4
16384+ 1

(Here I have assumed 196 countries: the 193 member states of the UN plus Taiwan, Kosovo and Vatican City. The seven smallest countries are Marshall Islands, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Tuvalu, Nauru, Monaco and Vatican City.)

I would have expected to see reasonably constant numbers except for the tail ends, as they are for other ranges of area. In fact there are just 8 countries between 1,000 and 10,000 square kilometres but 20 between 100 and 1,000 and 57 between 10,000 and 100,000! The 8 special countries in decreasing order of area are:

Cyprus, Brunei, Trinidad and Tobago, Cape Verde, Samoa, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Comoros

Six out of these are islands, so perhaps this anomaly indicates that for this area range, it is on the small side for a continental region or that there are not many groups of islands with total area in this range that are willing to form a unified nation.

April 19, 2011

Some counterintuitive distances on the globe

Filed under: geography — ckrao @ 11:09 am

Further to my post on long flights, here are some more counter-intuitive facts about distances on the globe, that I hope to add to over time.

  • Africa is closer to Canada than to the US.
  • Oslo-Seattle (7352km) is less than Paris-Miami (7385km)!
  • Moscow-Beijing (5807km) is less than Melbourne-Singapore (6057km).
  • Indonesia is big – some 5300km from the southern Papua New Guinea border to the westernmost point of Sumatra. This is more than the distance between London and Afghanistan!
  • Tokyo is closer to Port Moresby, PNG (5058km) than Kuala Lumpur (5233km)!

More here:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=722690

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/aviation_polls/read.main/186348

http://mapfrappe.blogspot.com/

March 26, 2011

A circle around mainland Australia

Filed under: geography — ckrao @ 7:18 am

Here is a circle of radius 2030km centred at 26S, 133.35E (on the Northern Territory/South Australian border of Australia). I used this tool to generate it.

This is a reasonably close approximation to the smallest circle containing all of mainland Australia. It is interesting that its centre should lie on the border. The three points closest to the circumference are the NSW/Vic border, Byron Bay (the easternmost point of mainland Australia) and about 75km SSW of Exmouth. There are also three other parts of coastal mainland Australia close to (within 75km of) the circumference, notably, near Dirk Hartog Island (WA), the south west coast and Cape York (Qld).

Hence one can almost say that 6 points of coastal mainland Australia form a cyclic hexagon whose circumcircle is the smallest circle containing mainland Australia! The largest distance I could find between two mainland points of Australia is 4048km, suggesting that Byron Bay to the point SSW of Exmouth is not too far from being a diameter of the circle. However due to spherical geometry, its midpoint is actually quite some distance south from the centre of the circle shown above.

Note: I tried a circle around Australia including Tasmania, but it wasn’t as interesting – only 3 points close to the circumference. 🙂

Ref: http://www.freemaptools.com/radius-around-point.htm

March 2, 2011

Short and interesting land borders

Filed under: geography — ckrao @ 11:54 am

Recently I noticed for the first time that North Korea shares a border with Russia. I had always thought it only borders China to the north and South Korea to the south. This made me look up some of the shorter borders between two countries. The following is a non-exhaustive list of short borders shared by two countries. I have deliberately omitted countries that themselves are small (e.g. Djibouti, Qatar, Swaziland, Luxembourg) that would more obviously have small borders.

Border Border Length (km)
Botswana-Zambia 2
Azerbaijan-Turkey 9
Morocco-Spain 17
North Korea-Russia 19
Croatia-Montenegro 25
Armenia-Iran 35
Afghanistan-China 76
Chad-Nigeria 87
Lithuania-Poland 91
Austria-Slovakia 91
Slovakia-Ukraine 97
Hungary-Slovenia 102
Hungary-Ukraine 103
Afghanistan-India 106

Notes

  • The Botswana-Zambia border is particularly interesting since it is the closest thing in the world we have to four countries meeting at a point (i.e. almost a quadripoint). Namibia and Zimbabwe are the other two countries in the area. If you look at a map, Namibia extends out east along a narrow finger of land called the Caprivi Strip that gives it access to the Zambezi River. Its border falls just short of Zimbabwe to the east, while Botswana to the South and Zambia to the north share the 2km stretch of Zambezi River in between.
  • Azerbaijan is one of the few countries to have more than one piece, and its western component shares a tiny border with Turkey.
  • How does Morocco border Spain? Spain has three tiny components on the African mainland (Ceuta, Melilla, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera), all surrounded by Morocco, so the 17km border is the sum of three separate border lengths. The border with Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera is just 85 metres long, and only came into existence after a thunderstorm in 1934 made the former island part of the mainland!
  • Croatia is another country with more than one piece (giving the nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina a 26km coastline), and its smaller component has a short border with Montenegro. The same applies to Angola and its 201km border with Congo.

Apart from Azerbaijan, Angola, Croatia and Spain mentioned above, below is a non-exhaustive list of countries that have more than one mainland piece leading in some cases to interesting borders. An exclave is land which is not contiguous with another larger piece of the same country.

  • USA (Alaska)
  • Turkey (European and Asian sections, connected by two bridges)
  • Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast)
  • India and Bangladesh – there are 92 Bangladeshi exclaves within India and 106 Indian exclaves within Bangladesh, occupying less than 120 square kilometres in total. There exists within Bangladesh an Indian exclave with surrounds a Bangladeshi exclave, which itself surrounds an Indian exclave (whose area is less than a hectare)!
  • Belgium and the Netherlands have similarly small exclaves near their border.
  • The area between Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan has a number of exclaves of each country. Have a look at how irregular the borders among these countries are if you have not already done so!
  • Oman has two exclaves within the UAE. One of these contains an exclave of the UAE.
  • Armenia also has an exclave in Azerbaijan.

Other countries with more than one piece (though not all continental) are the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Brunei.

A list of islands that are shared by more than one country is here – the largest ones are New Guinea, Borneo, Ireland, Hispaniola, Tierra del Fuego and Timor. I never knew about Sebatik Island off the east coast of Borneo, Usedom shared by Germany and Poland or the tiny ones listed there.

Other interesting borders are formed by panhandles (elongated pieces of land sticking out), some of which are listed here. Of these my most noteworthy would be in India (the seven sister states), north east Argentina, Cameroon, Namibia and southern Myanmar.

Finally, there are a number of countries currently having border disputes. I did not know there are as many as indicated here!

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_borders_by_length

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_enclaves_and_exclaves

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panhandle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_divided_islands

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_territorial_disputes

Botswana Zambia 2
Azerbaijan Turkey 9
Morocco Spain 17
North Korea Russia 19
Croatia Montenegro 25
Armenia Iran 35
Afghanistan China 76
Chad Nigeria 87
Lithuania Poland 91
Slovakia Austria 91
Slovakia Ukraine 97
Hungary Slovenia 102
Hungary Ukraine 103
Mozambique Swaziland 105
Afghanistan India 106

January 24, 2011

Long flights and fun with near-antipodes

Filed under: geography — ckrao @ 11:49 pm

I recently heard about the existence of a flight between Los Angeles and Dubai, so it prompted me to look up the longest flights in terms of distance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-stop_flight#Currently_scheduled_.28top_30.2C_by_distance.29

The Los Angeles-Dubai route is the fourth longest (13420km in 16.5 hrs). In number one comes the 18 hour, 50 minute beast from Newark (New Jersey) to Singapore, at 15345km (9535 mi), or 38% across the globe! You might be wondering whether this flies via Europe or the Pacific Ocean and the answer is… neither! As seen below (ref) it goes north of Greenland, across the Arctic, within 150km of the north pole, then south through Russia, Mongolia, China and South East Asia.

Shortest path between Newark and Singapore

It should be pointed out that the flight is not always so polar, since it often takes advantage of favourable winds in the Atlantic. This unexpected path (being used to seeing flat 2-D maps all the time) made me check out a few more counter-intuitive paths around the globe, courtesy of Wolfram Alpha.

Los Angeles to Dubai is another one that flies north of Greenland and then over the boundary between Europe and Asia.

Los Angeles to Dubai

From Melbourne to Dakar, Senegal, the shortest path is to go way south first (to more than 60 degrees south latitude) and the path is almost entirely oceanic.

Melbourne to Dakar

To go from Melbourne to Recife in northeastern Brazil, you would pretty much traverse the south pole.

Melbourne to Recife

Finally, let us look at a few near-antipodal paths. Antipodes are points on the globe that are diametrically opposite. It is intriguing that less than 4% of the earth’s land is antipodal to land, with Australia antipodal to the Atlantic, North America antipodal to the Indian Ocean, and Africa and most of Eurasia antipodal to the Pacific (see this image). There are infinitely many shortest paths between antipodes (I am assuming the world is spherical now), and slightly perturbing one or both of these endpoints can change the shortest path drastically.

As an example, we take the paths between Buenos Aires and near-antipodal points of east Asia: Shanghai, Seoul and Beijing (distances from Buenos Aires between 19250 and 19650km). The true antipode is somewhere in the ocean within the triangle formed by this trio of big cities.

Buenos Aires to ShanghaiBuenos Aires to SeoulBuenos Aires to Beijing

As you can see, three very different directions!

December 26, 2010

Major Straits of the World

Filed under: geography — ckrao @ 12:52 pm

I had a look at map of the world and decided to note down some of the straits (narrow stretches of water between two larger bodies of water) or relatively narrow stretches of ocean. The following list mainly has those between different countries. There are countless more in archipelagos such as in Scandinavia, northern Canada, the Philippines, Indonesia and the Caribbean. Most distances shown refer to the narrowest width of water. The information is taken from the relevant Wikipedia entries (hence not to be taken as definitive) as well as the references given at the bottom.

Oceania

  • Cook Strait between the two main islands of New Zealand is 23km wide.
  • Bass Strait between mainland Australia and Tasmania is around 240km wide and only 50 metres deep. The Tasmanian Aborigines were isolated from mainland Australia for around 8000 years after sea levels rose.
  • Torres Strait between Australia and Papua New Guinea is 150km wide with at least 274 islands.

South East and South Asia

  • The Malacca Strait between peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra is 805km long and as narrow as 2.8km at Phillips Channel (south of Singapore). It apparently carries one quarter of world’s trade goods.
  • Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra is 30km wide.
  • Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka is 30km wide at Adam’s Bridge (containing a chain of islands).
  • Bab-el-Mandeb between Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa is about 30km wide.
  • Hormuz Strait between Oman and Iran across the Persian Gulf, is 54km wide at its narrowest point.

East and North Eurasia

  • The Hainan (Qiongzhou) Strait between the island of Hainan and mainland China is 30km wide.
  • The Taiwan Strait is 131km wide between Taiwan and China.
  • Korea Strait between South Korea and southern Japan is about 200km wide.
  • The largest island of Japan, Honshu, is 19.5km from the northern island Hokkaido (via the Tsugaru Strait), 15km from Shikoku (via the Inland Sea) and just 600 metres from the southern island Kyushu (via the Kanmon Strait).
  • La Pérouse Strait between Sakhalin Island of Russia and Hokkaido Island of Japan is 40km wide.
  • Tartar Strait between east mainland Russia and the island of Sakahlin is 7.3km wide.
  • Matochkin Strait between the Severny and Yuzhny Islands of the Arctic (extreme north east of Europe) is 100km long but only 600m wide at its narrowest point. I had previously thought this was one island!
  • Kara Strait between mainland Russia and Yuzhny Island is 56km wide.

Europe

  • Øresund between Zealand in Denmark (containing Copenhagen) and Sweden, is 4km wide at one point.
  • The English Channel (between England and France) is 34km wide and the world’s busiest international seaway.
  • The North Channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland is 36km wide.
  • The Strait of Gibraltar at the entrance to the Mediterranean (between Spain and Morocco) is 14.3km wide and 300-900m deep.
  • The Bosporus (Istanbul, between Asia and Europe) is 704m wide at its narrowest point.
  • The Dardanelles in northwestern Turkey are 61km long but 1.2 to 6km wide and 55-82m deep.
  • The Strait of Messina is 3.1km wide between mainland Italy and the island of Sicily.
  • The Strait of Bonifacio between the Mediterranean islands of Sardinia (Italy) and Corsica (France) is 11km wide.
  • The Euripus Strait between mainland Greece and the island of Euboea (150km in length) is only 38 metres wide at its narrowest point!

Americas

  • The Strait of Magellan at the southern tip of South America is 570km long and 2km wide at its narrowest point.
  • The Yucatán Channel between Mexico and Cuba is about 196km wide.
  • The Windward Passage between Cuba and Hispaniola (Haiti) is 80km wide.
  • The Florida Straits between Cuba and Florida are about 160km wide.
  • The Strait of Belle Isle is 125km long and 15-60km wide and separates Newfoundland and mainland Canada (Labrador)
  • The Gulf of California in Mexico is 1126km long and 48-241km wide (actually a narrow bay rather than a strait)
  • The Strait of Georgia between mainland western Canada and Victoria Island is 18.5 to 55km wide and 240km long.
  • The Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia is 85km wide.

Map

References

[1] http://www.paulsquiz.com/Trivia_Quiz_Resources/Geography/List_of_straits_around_the_world/

[2] http://nicenfunnys.blogspot.com/2010/12/most-important-water-passes-in-world.html

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