International borders can be intimidating, amazing and at times absolutely weird. Some borders are heavily militarized while others have no presence of soldiers. Some unusual borders are even known to run through houses.
Here is a list of 5 most unique international borders that would definitely leave you astounded:
1. US-Russia Border – Where Time Travel is Possible
In the H. G. Wells classic novel, ‘The Time Machine,’ the protagonist travels into the future in a time machine that he invents. How many times have you wondered whether you too, could invent such a machine? Well, in that case just visit the Diomede Islands.
Situated in the Bering Strait, the twin Islands form the international border between the United States and Russia. While the bigger island falls within the Russian district of Chukotskiy and is uninhabited (except for a weather station), the smaller island forms part of the US state of Alaska and comprises a small population of the Chukchi people. As the International Date Line passes through both the islands, there is a time gap of 21 hours between the two islands, even though they are lesser than 2.5 miles apart. So, when you are at the Small Diomede and looking over to the Big Diomede, you are staring into the future. Perplexing, eh?
2. Belgium-Netherlands Border – One Foot in Belgium, Another in Netherlands
Have you ever thought of crossing the border in less than a minute? Definitely, the thought seems ridiculous. But here is a border, which can be crossed in less than a second. Confused?
Baarle, a small town on the border between the Belgium and the Netherlands is divided into Baarle-Nassau (Dutch town) and Baarle-Hertog (Belgian town). Here, two countries are merged into one and the traveler would run into little patches of both the countries scattered around Baarle. The international border that runs through these towns is neither straight, nor is it curved; rather it is zigzag and does not follow any set standard. In fact, here you would find the border running through streets, gardens and even houses. How exciting to cook your dinner in Belgium as it falls in that part of the country and eat it in Netherlands, because your dining room is located in that country!
3. India-Pakistan Border – Visible from Space
It is heavily guarded, witnesses continuous crossfire between the two estranged neighbors, sees heavy infiltration and ‘believe it or not’ is visible from outer space. Described as one of the most dangerous borders in the world, the Indo- Pak border is seen as a bright orange line from the space because of 150,000 high voltage flood-lights that were installed by the Indian government back in 2003 to prevent smuggling and trafficking. No matter how intimidating the border may seem here on earth, from outer space it does look quite fascinating.
4. North and South Korea Border – A Perfect Habitat for Animals
Where humans dread to tread, animals roam around freely. One of the most militarized zones in the world, the border between North and South Korea, stretches 160 miles long and is 2.5 miles wide. It has come as a blessing in disguise for the large number of animals that live in its vicinity.
Perhaps, no other international border in the world boasts of so much biodiversity and animal life. Due to the natural isolation, a kind of unplanned park has been created in the area, which has today emerged as one of the most well-preserved areas of temperate habitat in the world. Species that have dwindled in numbers in other parts of the world can be found here. The border has become a home to the endangered Amur leopard, the rare red-crowned crane, the white-naped crane and the extremely rare Siberian tiger to name a few. 5,097 animal and plant species have been identified in the area, including 106 that are labeled as endangered or protected.
5. Derby Line-Vermont – Where U.S. Ends and Canada Begins
Borders may not always be daunting and full of hardened soldiers on both sides giving cold stares to one another. On some borders, one can stand on the terrace of their driveway home and wave to neighbors whose house across the road falls in another country. Unbelievable? Just visit the Derby Line-Vermont, the international border between US and Canada and you will know what we mean.
The Canusa Avenue, which forms the northern border for Vermont, divides the Vermont and Québec sides of the village. The homes on one side of the street are in the United States, while, so close on the other side lie the residential areas of Canada. A spectacular building located on the border of US and Canada is the Haskell Free Library and Opera House. Opened in 1904 and declared a heritage building by both the countries in the 1970s, the building has two different entrances. One entrance is from Canada and the other is from the US. However, be sure to exit from the right door or else you might end up in the other country and would have to report to that country’s custom officials.