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You Can Walk From US To Russia: Little Diomede, USA 📍
An American island that's 2.5 miles from Russian soil (📍Bonkers Borders Series)
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You Can Walk USA To Russia:
Little Diomede, Alaska, USA
You probably know that Alaska and Russia are relatively close – with just the Bering Sea between them, they’re only about 55 miles apart.
But there’s an American town that is much closer, just a couple miles from Russia. And In winter, they can actually walk there, but they don’t… I don’t think.
Diomede is an American town of about 100 people on a small island in the Bering Sea called Little Diomede Island.
It is one of the two Diomede Islands that sit about halfway between mainland Alaska and mainland Russia.
The western island – Big Diomede – is Russian. The eastern island – Little Diomede – is American. They are 2.5 miles apart. The only thing between them is water. In winter, the notoriously cold water freezes up, creating a 2.5 mile ice bridge that’s walkable. (I’m told it takes about a half hour). So technically you CAN walk from the US to Russia.
If you do, you also instantaneously step into the future bc Big Diomede is 21 hours ahead of Little Diomede. The international date line falls right smack between them so you can literally step a whole day ahead.
The town of Diomede is very isolated, and its residents rely on a weekly helicopter or skiplane for mail and supplies. There’s a school, laundromat, church, and a general store, but for most big things you have to fly to Nome.
Most who live on Diomede have ancestors who have lived there for over 3000 years. Many are known for extraordinary ivory carvings and marine hunting skills. They can easily handle a polar bear.
Until Russia built a military base on their island during World War 2, BOTH islands had towns with their residents closely related, traveling back and forth to visit each other. There are even stories of relatives meeting on the ice under fog during the war. After World War 2, those on the Russian side were moved to mainland Russia and Big Diomede is no longer inhabited (except for a weather slash border station and this amazing downed war plane. Today, there are families that grew up exclusively on either side, who once lived only a couple miles away from each other on two islands in the bering sea they call home.
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