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10 world’s strangest borders between countries

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “border”? Is it some official-looking place with reserved customs officers and trained dogs? Well, not all borders in the world are fenced in with barbed wire! Have a look at some of the most unusual and sometimes even baffling ones!

1. Macau – China.

If you lack challenge in your life, head for the border between Macau and China. The funny thing is that people in Macau, like in Hong Kong, drive on the left side of the road, while the Chinese drive on the right. But listen to this!

After being a Portuguese colony for hundreds of years, nowadays Macau is in some sense a part of China (which is why its full name sounds kinda lengthy: the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China).

Macau - China border
Macau – China border

And that’s why while driving from China to Macau, you’ll need to switch sides of the road, even while still in the same country! This magic happens at the Lotus Bridge between Hengqin Island and Macau. If you’re driving from the Chinese side, you’ll have to loop under the bridge, and after passing some weirdly-shaped cloverleaf, you will reappear on the opposite side of the road.

2. Poland – Ukraine.

The border between Poland and Ukraine is not just a line between two countries; it’s an art object! If you look at the piece of land situated between Polish Horodyszcze and Ukrainian Warez from above, you’ll see two colossal fish.

Poland - Ukraine border
Poland – Ukraine border

Designed with the help of different kinds of plants, this stunning land art is the creation of Polish artist Jaroslaw Koziara. The two fish at the border carry deep meaning; the artist meant to say that the boundaries between the two countries are just formality.

3. Brazil – Argentina – Paraguay.

I wonder what you would say about a border that separates not two but three countries at a time? This place I’m talking about is known as “The Triple Frontier,” and that’s where the Iguazu River and the Parana River separate Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

Brazil - Argentina - Paraguay border
Brazil – Argentina – Paraguay border

In this place, each of the countries erected their own obelisk, or stone pillar, painted in the colors of the national flag. These obelisks are popular with tourists, and no wonder! You can see all three countries at the same time from each of the pillars.

4. The US – Russia.

Have you ever heard about the Diomede Islands, a pair of rocky islands in the middle of the Bering Strait? Situated between Siberia and mainland Alaska, the islands are only 2.4 miles apart, and when you look at them, it becomes clear that they’re a single group.

The US - Russia border
The US – Russia border

But no matter how close the islands may seem, they belong to different countries and are separated by the International Date line. Big Diomede is a Russian island, and Little Diomede belongs to the USA. But wait, that’s not all! Despite a relatively small distance between the two islands, Big Diomede is 21 hours ahead of its fellow isle!

This phenomenon occurs because, as you remember, the International Date line runs between the islands. That’s why Big Diomede is known as Tomorrow Island and Little Diomede as Yesterday Isle.

5. The Netherlands – Belgium.

This border may be by far the most unusual and complex one of them all. First of all, it runs through the town of Baarle-Hertog. Or is it Baarle-Nassau? Well, the thing is that it’s virtually one town some parts of which belong to Belgium and others to the Netherlands.

The Netherlands - Belgium border
The Netherlands – Belgium border

As you may guess, it creates tons of confusion. People who live in the town make trips abroad countless times a day. Streets, grocery stores, picture galleries, and even some houses are divided into parts that belong to different countries! But don’t worry, you’ll always know when you cross the border because the streets are marked with big white crosses.

6. Vatican City – Italy.

The world’s smallest country, Vatican City, is a state of its own. It’s encircled by a border with Italy which is just 2 miles long, and the size of the entire country is just over 100 acres. That’s about one-eighth the size of Central Park in New York. Vatican City has its own stamps, mass media, anthem, and flag.

Vatican City - Italy border
Vatican City – Italy border

The city-country can issue license plates and passports. Souvenir sales, contributions, and museum admission fees make up the country’s budget. There’s only one thing the Vatican lacks – the borders. As soon as you set your foot in the world-known St. Peter’s Square, count yourself lucky to have visited the Vatican.

7. Brazil – Argentina.

The border between the two countries might as well be the most beautiful in the world. You would agree if you’ve ever seen the world’s largest waterfall system, Iguazu Falls, situated on the Iguazu River. The tallest of the waterfalls, the Devil’s Throat, is also the most impressive.

Brazil - Argentina border
Brazil – Argentina border

More than 260 ft tall and about 490 ft wide, this cataract, or large powerful waterfall, marks the border between Argentina and Brazil.

8. Hungary – Slovakia – Austria.

A point where the borders of three countries meet is called a tripoint, and there are about 170 such points in the world. One of them is situated in Europe and looks like an ordinary stone picnic table.

But in fact, this table is the very tripoint between Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia. Nowadays, all three countries are members of the Schengen Area, that’s why you won’t see any border crossing points and customs officers there.

Hungary - Slovakia - Austria border
Hungary – Slovakia – Austria border

The tripoint is surrounded by monuments related to different points in the countries’ history and endless fields that stretch toward the horizon. The silence in this place may seem a bit ominous, but if you’re tired of the hustle and bustle of the big city, this is an ideal place to go.

9. Spain – Portugal.

Well, you’ve seen the most unusual borders and the most beautiful ones. How about the one which is the most fun? A zip line connects Spain and Portugal, and it’s probably the best way for an adrenaline junkie to cross the border between the two countries.

Spain - Portugal border
Spain – Portugal border

If you’re ready to try this peculiar entertainment, you first need to get to Sanlucar de Guadiana in Andalusia, Spain. After that, prepare for a 60-second flight through the air at a speed that can reach more than 50 miles per hour! Interestingly, when you land on the other side in Alcoutim, Portugal, you’ll find out that you’ve traveled one hour back in time! This amazing phenomenon occurs due to the time difference between Spain and Portugal.

Also, no need to fret about getting stuck in Portugal. A special boat ferries zipliners back to the Spanish side. So, you’ll be back approximately one hour after you stepped into the abyss.

10. Malaysia – Indonesia.

The border between Malaysia and Indonesia consists of a land boundary that separates the two countries on Borneo island, and maritime borders that run along the Straits of Malacca, in the Celebes Sea and the South China Sea. But the problem is that both the land and maritime borders haven’t been clearly defined until recently.

Malaysia - Indonesia border
Malaysia – Indonesia border

The two countries started the survey and demarcation of their common borders in 1975 and finished only in 2000. And in 2006, Malaysia and Indonesia approved 28 maps that still defined only 1,132 out of 1,254 miles of the common borders.

Have you ever seen any unusual borders? Then write about your experience in the comment section below! Remember to rate this article “10 world’s strangest borders between countries by Bright Side“, share it with your friends!

Credit: Bright Side

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