Coordinates : 66°0′N 169°0′W / 66.000°N 169.000°W /
66.000; -169.000 Satellite photo of the Bering
Nautical chart of the Bering
Strait The Peters map is parted in
the Bering Strait. On other maps a part of
Russia is shown left of
The BERING STRAIT (Russian : Берингов пролив, Beringov
proliv, Yupik : Imakpik ) is a strait of the
Pacific , which borders
with the Arctic to north. It is located between
Russia and the United
States . Named after
Vitus Bering , a Danish-born explorer in the
service of the
Russian Empire , it lies slightly south of the Arctic
Circle being at about 65° 40' N latitude . The present Russia-US
east-west boundary is at 168° 58' 37" W.
Strait has been the subject of the scientific hypothesis that
humans migrated from
Asia to North America across a land bridge known
Beringia when lower ocean levels – perhaps a result of glaciers
locking up vast amounts of water – exposed a wide stretch of the sea
floor, both at the present strait and in the shallow sea north and
south of it. This view of how
Paleo-Indians entered America has been
the dominant one for several decades and continues to be the most
accepted one. Numerous successful crossings without the use of a boat
have also been recorded since at least the early 20th century.
Since 2012, the Russian coast of the Bering
Strait has been a closed
military zone . Through organized trips and the use of special
permits, it is possible for foreigners to visit. All arrivals must be
through an airport or a cruise port, near the Bering
Strait only at
Provideniya . Unauthorized travelers who arrive on shore
after crossing the strait, even those with visas, may be arrested,
imprisoned briefly, fined, deported and banned from future visas.
* 1 Geography and science
* 2 Population
* 3 Expeditions
* 4 Proposed tunnel
* 5 Proposed dam
* 6 The "Ice Curtain" border
* 7 See also
* 8 References
* 9 Further reading
* 10 External links
GEOGRAPHY AND SCIENCE
Strait is about 82 kilometres (51 mi) wide at its
narrowest point, between
Cape Dezhnev ,
Chukchi Peninsula ,
the easternmost point (169° 43' W) of the Asian continent and Cape
Prince of Wales ,
Alaska , United States, the westernmost point (168°
05' W) of the
North American continent . Its depth varies between 30
metres (98 ft) and 50 metres (160 ft). It borders with the Chukchi
Sea (part of the
Arctic Ocean ) to north and with the
Bering Sea to
International Date Line runs equidistant between the Strait's
Diomede Islands at a distance of 1.5 km (1 mi), leaving the Russian
and American sides usually on different calendar days, with Cape
Dezhnev 21 hours ahead of the American side (20 hours during daylight
saving time ).
The area is sparsely populated.
The eastern coast belongs to the
U.S. state of
Alaska . Notable towns
that straddle the
Strait include Nome (3,788 people) and the small
settlement of Teller (229 people).
The western coast belongs to the
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug , a
Federal subject of Russia. Major towns that lie along the Strait
include Lorino (1,267 people) and
Lavrentiya (1,459 people).
Diomede Islands lie midway in the Strait. The village in Little
Diomede has a school which belongs to Alaska's Bering
Defense Mapping Agency
Defense Mapping Agency topographical map of the Bering Strait,
The earliest reference of the strait were from maps from the Polo
family; based on the adventures of
Marco Polo . From at least 1562,
European geographers thought that there was a
Strait of Anián between
Asia and North America. In 1648,
Semyon Dezhnyov probably passed
through the strait, but his report did not reach Europe. Danish-born
Vitus Bering entered it in 1728. In 1732, Mikhail
Gvozdev crossed it for the first time, from
Asia to America. Adolf
Erik Nordenskiöld in 1878–79 sailed along the northern coast of
Siberia , thereby proving that there was no northern land bridge from
Asia to North America.
In March 1913, Captain Max Gottschalk (German) crossed from the east
Siberia to Shishmaref,
Alaska , on dogsled via Little and Big
Diomede islands. He was the first documented modern voyager to cross
Russia to North America without the use of a boat.
In 1987, swimmer
Lynne Cox swam a 4.3-kilometre (2.7 mi) course
Diomede Islands from
Alaska to the
Soviet Union in 3.3 °C
(37.9 °F) water during the last years of the
Cold War .
In June and July 1989, a British expedition, Kayaks Across the Bering
Strait, completed the first sea kayak crossing of the Bering Strait
from Wales (Kiŋigin), Alaska, to Cape Dezhnev, Siberia. The team of
Robert Egelstaff, Trevor Potts, Greg Barton and Pete Clark landed on
Little Diomede Island, rested a few days and completed the journey to
Uelen. They were escorted to Moscow from where they flew back to
London at the end of July.
During the first part of the crossing they were accompanied by two
other groups, Paddling into Tomorrow led by Doug Van Etten. There was
also small party led by Jim Noyes in a three-man
Baidarka who were
accompanied by a film crew. The film Curtain of Ice was produced by
In 1998, Russian adventurer
Dmitry Shparo and his son Matvey made the
modern crossing of the frozen Bering
Strait on skis.
In March 2006, Briton
Karl Bushby and French-American adventurer
Dimitri Kieffer crossed the strait on foot, walking across a frozen 90
km (56 mi) section in 15 days. They were soon arrested for not
Russia through a border control.
August 2008 marked the first crossing of the Bering
Strait using an
amphibious road-going vehicle. The specially modified Land Rover
Defender 110 was driven by Steve Burgess and Dan Evans across the
straits on its second attempt following the interruption of the first
by bad weather.
In February 2012, Korean team led by
Hong Sung-Taek crossed the
straits on foot in six days. They started from Chukotka Peninsula, the
east coast of
Russia on February 23 and arrived in Wales, the western
coastal town in
Alaska on February 29.
In July, 2012, six adventurers associated with "Dangerous Waters," a
reality adventure show under production, made the crossing on Sea-Doos
but were arrested and permitted to return to
Alaska on their Sea-Doos
after being briefly detained in
Lavrentiya , administrative center of
Chukotsky District . They were treated well and given a tour of
the village's museum, but not permitted to continue south along the
Pacific coast. The men had visas but the western coast of the Bering
Strait is a closed military zone .
Between August 4 and 10 (US dates), 2013, a team of 65 swimmers from
17 countries performed a relay swim across the Bering Strait, the
first such swim in history. They swam from Cape Dezhnev, Russia, to
Cape Prince of Wales,
United States (roughly 110 km, due to the
current). They had direct support from the Russian Navy, using one
of its ships, and assistance with permission.
Main article: Bering
A physical link between
Asia and North America via the Bering Strait
nearly became a reality in 1864 when a Russian-American telegraph
company began preparations for an overland telegraph line connecting
Europe and America via the east. It was abandoned when the undersea
Atlantic Cable proved successful.
A further proposal for a bridge-and-tunnel link from
Alaska was made by French engineer
Baron Loicq de Lobel in 1906. Czar
Nicholas II of
Russia issued an order authorising a Franco-American
syndicate represented by de Lobel to begin work on the Trans-Siberian
Alaska railroad project, but no physical work ever commenced.
Suggestions have been made to construct a Bering
Alaska and Siberia. However, despite the unprecedented
engineering, political, and financial challenges,
the US $65-billion
TKM-World Link tunnel project in August 2011. If
completed, the 103 km (64 mile) project would be the world's longest.
China is considering construction of a "China-Russia-Canada-America"
railroad line that would include construction of a 200 km (120 mi)
long underwater tunnel that would cross the Bering Strait.
In 1956, the
Soviet Union proposed to the US a joint bi-national
project to warm the
Arctic Ocean and melt some of the ice cap. The
Soviet project called for a 90 km (56 mi) wide dam across the Bering
Straits. It would block the cold
Pacific current from entering the
Arctic. By pumping low-salinity cold surface water across the dam to
the Pacific, warmer and higher salinity sea water from the Atlantic
Ocean would be introduced into the Arctic Ocean.
However, citing national security concerns, the CIA and FBI experts
opposed the Soviet plan by arguing that while the plan was feasible,
it would compromise
NORAD and thus the dam could be built at only an
In the 21st century, a similar dam have also been proposed, however
the aim of the proposal is to preserve the Arctic ice cap against
THE "ICE CURTAIN" BORDER
Little Diomede Island (US, left) and Big Diomede Island (Russia,
Cold War , the Bering
Strait marked the border between the
Soviet Union and the United States. The
Diomede Islands —Big Diomede
Little Diomede (US)—are only 3.8 km (2.4 mi) apart.
Traditionally, the indigenous peoples in the area had frequently
crossed the border back and forth for "routine visits, seasonal
festivals and subsistence trade", but were prevented from doing so
during the Cold War. The border became known as the "Ice Curtain".
It was completely closed, and there was no regular passenger air or
boat traffic. In 1987, American swimmer
Lynne Cox symbolically helped
ease tensions between the two countries by swimming across the border
and was congratulated jointly by
Ronald Reagan and
Mikhail Gorbachev .
Since 1990, tourist air and boat traffic has resumed, but is hampered
by the need for visas and special military visit permits asked by US
authorities and also by their Russian counterparts.
* Geography portal
List of Russian explorers
* I can see
Russia from my house.
* ^ http://www.wall-maps.com/World/PetersProjection-over.gif
* ^ Forbes, Jack D. 2007. The American Discovery of Europe. Urbana:
University of Illinois Press, pp. 84 ff., 198,
* ^ Stuckey, M., Linda Black; Larry S. Krieger; Phillip C. Naylor;
Dahia Ibo Shabaka (1999). World History: Patterns of Interaction.
Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell. ISBN 0-395-87274-X .
* ^ A B Andrew Roth (July 11, 2012). "Journey by Sea Takes Awkward
Turn in Russia". The New York Times. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
* ^ It is only 53 miles (85 km) wide, and at its deepest point is
only 90 metres (300 ft) in depth.
* ^ Klein, Christopher (September 30, 2014). "Did
Marco Polo Visit
* ^ The Victoria Advocate February 1 1938, additional text.
* ^ Watts, Simon. (2012-08-08) BBC News - Swim that broke Cold War
ice curtain. Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved on 2013-07-29.
* ^ "Epic explorer crosses frozen sea". BBC News. 3 April 2006.
Retrieved 13 January 2012.
* ^ "Epic explorer detained in Russia". BBC News. 4 April 2006.
Retrieved 13 January 2012.
* ^ "Cape to Cape Expedition". Retrieved 13 January 2012.
* ^ The Korea Herald. "Korean team crosses Bering Strait".
* ^ "ТАСС: Спорт - На Аляске
завершилась международная эстафета
"моржей", переплывших Берингов пролив".
* ^ "Bering
Strait Swim -
Russia to America". Facebook.
* ^ "San Francisco to St Petersburg by Rail! If the Tunnel is
driven under Bering
Strait will Orient meet Occident with Smile - or
with Sword?". San Francisco Call. September 2, 1906. Retrieved April
* ^ "Thinking Big: Roads and Railroads to Siberia.". InterBering
LLC. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
* ^ Loicq de Lobel (August 2, 1906). "Le Klondyke, l\'Alaska, le
Yukon et les Iles Aléoutienne". Société Française d'Editions
d'Art. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
* ^ "FOR BERING STRAIT BRIDGE". New York Times. August 2, 1906.
Retrieved April 23, 2016.
* ^ James A. Oliver (2006). The Bering
Strait Crossing: A 21st
Century Frontier Between East and West.
* ^ Halpin, Tony (2011-08-20). "
Russia plans $65bn tunnel to
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times .
* ^ Tharoor, Ishaan (2014-05-09). "China may build an undersea
train to America".
The Washington Post
The Washington Post . Retrieved 2014-05-14.
* ^ "
Ocean Dams Would Thaw North" Popular Mechanics, June 1956, p.
* ^ State of
Alaska website Archived 2009-08-31 at the Wayback
* ^ "Lifting the Ice Curtain", Peter A. Iseman, The New York Times,
October 23, 1988
* ^ "Swimming to Antarctica", CBS News, September 17, 2003
* Oliver, James A. (2007). The Bering
Strait Crossing. Information
Architects. ISBN 0-9546995-6-4 .
Russia Plans World\'s Longest Undersea Tunnel". Daily Tech.
2007-04-24. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
* Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bering Island, Sea and Strait".
Encyclopædia Britannica . 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to BERING STRAIT .
* PBS Video of St. Lawrence Island in Bering Strait