After some hyperboles and misguided words from Sarah Palin, an early 21st-century American politician, multiple citizens of the United States only thought about a single question: ‘Can you spot Russia from Alaska?’
The answer to that question is both a ‘yes,’ and a ‘no.’
You cannot actually see the Russian landscape from Alaska from the mainland. But there exist two islands right in the middle of the beautiful Bering Sea - these two islands can actually shorten the total distance between these two peninsulas located on two ends of the world map.
But that does beg one really important question: how far is Russia from Alaska? The answer can obviously vary wildly depending on what factor you are putting under consideration - space, time, or just political borders.
Stay tuned to find out more.
Traveling Between Mainland Alaska and Russia: How Far Is Russia From Alaska?
So, how far is Russia from Alaska by plane or any other means of transport?
Traveling between Alaska and Russia is a pretty big challenge, even in 2023. The closest points between Russia and mainland Alaska are,
- Cape Prince of Wales in Alaska - the western tip.
- Cape Dezhnev in Russia - the southern point.
The distance between these two points is about 55 miles or 88.5 kilometers roughly.
History has been witness to so many brave athletes and heroic explorers who have kayaked, sledded, and swum the distance, but then these are all exceptional stories. Obviously, there does exist some major cities in these very sparsely populated areas.
So, your best shot to travel between Alaska and Russia without any specialized equipment is to simply find direct Alaska to Russia flights or vice versa between global hubs such as Moscow, Anchorage, and Juneau.
Here are some much-needed details about both Russia and Alaska.
Before you get confused with the Russia and Alaska map, let’s talk about Russia a little. Of course, you are already aware of how Russia happens to be the biggest country in the world, spanning a solid 57.5 million square miles or 148.9 million square kilometers from Franz Joseph Land on the north and Kaliningrad on the west.
Most of the Eastern Hemisphere is dominated by Mainland Russia, stretching west through most of Eastern Europe as well as east into Northeast Asia and mainland Siberia. This enormous country borders fourteen countries, extending farther to the east as compared to the countries in the Pacific Ocean, such as New Zealand, Fiji, and South Korea.
If you are wondering how far is Alaska from Russia by plane, or by any other means of transport for that matter, then finding a little about Alaska is also important.
Alaska happens to be the 49th state that is technically disconnected from the mainland United States and separated by multiple Canadian provinces, including British Columbia and Yukon Territory, on the southeastern border of Alaska.
The Government of the United States bought the territory of Alaska in 1867 from Russia, while the whole region joined the complete Union in 1959.
Plus, Alaska covers around 1.7 million square kilometers or 663,000 square miles of land - this makes Alaska the biggest state when you measure by landmass.
On visiting Alaska, you will get to check out incredible wildlife and national parks and walk for miles without even spotting another person. The population of Alaska is literally lesser than 780,000 residents - it is the 3rd least-populated state.
The Bering Strait And The Diomede Islands:
So, now you have a fair idea about how far is Russia from Alaska, let’s talk about the Diomede Islands and the Bering Strait.
The Diomede Islands are perhaps the nearest geographical connection between Russia and Alaska, with about 3.8 kilometers or 2.4 miles of water actually separating the two different countries.
While the Bering Sea is located in the south, the Chukchi Sea is located in the north. Otherwise pretty insignificant landmasses, these islands are technically symbolic sentinels of the nation’s most far claim into the enormous Pacific Ocean.
However, these vital pieces of national declarations from both the United States and Russia fail to basically respect the 15,000-year claim of the Indigenous Iñupiat people on these two islands, including the remaining tiny islands located in the Arctic Sea.
The Big Diomede Island:
So, if you do ask, ‘can you see Russia from Alaska?’ then the answer is yes and no because while you cannot see Alaska from the Russian mainland, you can definitely see the same from this Russian island.
Also known as Ratmonov Island, this has been the easternmost point of the whole country since the 7 million dollar sale of Alaska in 1867. Although extremely remote, this was a strategic location for the Soviet military troops during the Cold War and the Second World War.
The rocky, flat island is currently home to around eleven species of birds and a single weather station that is known for monitoring the storm conditions in the Chukchi Sea.
The Little Diomede Island:
The smaller of the 2 Diomede Islands is perhaps the only one that has a permanent population of about 80 to 100 citizens. This is a small Alaskan island that has a very small footprint, less than about 3 square miles or 7.8 square kilometers, making it really accessible to the world at large either by a heliport or sea.
This area is perhaps the only road for residents to actually get hold of supplies from the mainland of Alaska, thereby forcing locals to simply carve out landing zones into the icy, thick sheets when the islands end up freezing up during the harsh winters.
Little Diomede Island is about 3.9 kilometers or 2.4 miles from its bigger sister island to the west.
Dream And Explore:
So, now that you have a fair idea about how far is Russia from Alaska, what are your thoughts? While wondering how close is Alaska to Russia, it often seems like the two places are really close to each other.
But obviously, we have cleared your doubt, and you know it’s not as close as it seems. Feel free to share your thoughts, opinions, and experiences related to the same in the comments below.
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