Why is the US/Canada border so complicated and strange?
There's a lot of discussion about the border between the US and Canada. At the moment, the border is technically closed to US citizens because of COVID, and because of that, there's a certain amount of tension as people from the US try to (and sometimes succeed) at sneaking into Canada.
Naturally, that made me curious about the US/Canada border, so I started looking at it, trying to understand how it came to be. And, naturally, one obvious question is "what's the northernmost point of the contiguous United States?" A quick search tells me that it's here, at Angle Inlet, Minnesota.
|The odd border between Canada and US at Minnesota|
That seems pretty weird to me. In general, there are some oddities in states boundaries that demand their backstories. And that's the theme for this week's Challenges: Why are some state boundaries so odd?
1. Why does the US/Canada border take a sudden left turn after passing eastward of Buffalo Point? What's the story there?
2. Similarly, the place where the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri meet is also complicated. There's an enclave of Kentucky that's completely surrounded by Missouri and/or Tennessee. How did this little island of Kentucky come to be? (Extra credit: Earthquakes here??)
|A small island (enclave) of Kentucky is surrounded by Tennessee and Missouri. Why?|
3. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is another oddity. Any rational drawing of the map would have this part of Michigan be part of Wisconsin. How is it that this peninsula came to be part of Michigan? (Big hint: Toledo turns out to play a part in this story!)
As usual, let us know HOW you find out the answers! I'll be curious to see what you discover.
The Comments are open!