Wednesday, July 03, 2013

The World's 11 Shortest Land Borders

The Kazangulu Ferry crosses the Zambezi River and will take you between the two countries that share the world's
shortest land border. Which technically goes through a river. Creative Commons licensed photo by Mirko Raner.

While I was at it with border trivia, I started wondering which two countries share the shortest land borders. The 40 island nations of the world naturally have no land borders, so they are not even granted permission to this little competition. Overse territories and enclaves have also been left out (sorry, David Hemingway).

The fastest men on earth can in theory run along the shortest land border in less than 15 seconds. If they do a Jesus copycat and run on water. Or if someone anchors up a floating track. You up for arranging that race, Botswana and Zambia? Although I guess Zimbabwe and Namibia would have to agree to fit in spectators. 

The border is practically speaking a border of four countries, although Namibia and Zimbabwe are in reality separated by those 150 meters in question. The Kazangulu Ferry actually makes it possible to go from Botswana to Zambia or vice versa across the Zambezi River only a short drive upstream from Victoria Falls. 

There are 11 land borders in the world that are shorter than a marathon, 42,195 meters. Number 11 between Algeria and Western Sahara is totally straight. How about that for a desert marathon with the runners not having to turn even once? The challenge is up!

1. Botswana-Zambia: 0.15 kilometers
2. Italy-Vatican: 3.2 kilometers
3. France-Monaco: 4.4 kilometers
4. Egypt-Palestine: 11 kilometers
5. North Korea-Russia: 19 kilometers
6. Croatia-Montenegro: 25 kilometers
7. Austria-Liechtenstein: 34.9 kilometers
8. Armenia-Iran: 35 kilometers
9. Italy-San Marino: 39 kilometers
10. Liechtenstein-Switzerland: 41 kilometers
11. Algeria-Western Sahara: 42 kilometers (there should be a marathon along this border)

Some people claim there is a land border of 0.1 kilometer between Sri Lanka and India on Rama's Bridge, but I cannot see that this is accurate. Feel free to disagree below.

Should you still wish to add enclaves and such, it's worth to mention Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera. It is a tiny Spanish enclave that shares an 85 meter long (0.085 kilometers) border with Morocco. Nor should Gibraltar be entirely neglected. It was after all famously twinned with the port town of Goole in Yorkshire back in the days. The British Overseas Territory shares a 1.2 kilometer long border with Spain. 

Source: Wikipedia