TikToker explains why it takes ‘15 days’ to travel between two neighboring islands

TikTok users are freaking out after discovering the Diomede Islands, two neighboring landmasses with an unreal travel time between them.

The islands, located in the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia, are just 2.4 miles apart. However, as TikTok user @samfromwendover pointed out, it could take several weeks to travel between them.

That’s because, as @samfromwendover’s viral video shows, the process might mean traveling all the way around the world.

“Why it takes 15 days to travel between two islands two miles apart,” the TikToker captioned his clip.


Why it takes 15 days to travel between two islands two miles apart #LearnOnTikTok #TikTokPartner

♬ original sound – samfromwendover

In the video, @samfromwendover begins by explaining that one of the islands, called Big Diomede, is part of Russia. The other, known as Little Diomede, is under U.S. control.

Both islands, the TikToker adds, are so sparsely populated that they don’t have any sort of official border crossing. Big Diomede has a permanent population of zero, while Little Diomede has one small village with around 100 people in it.

As a result of the islands being part of two different countries, traveling between them is more difficult than it seems.

Legally speaking, you can’t just take a boat. According to the BBC, the border between the two islands has been closed since 1948. So if you wanted to go from Little Diomede to Big Diomede, you might find yourself on the 15-day journey described in @samfromwendover’s video.

The TikToker’s clip outlines a wild series of flights and ferry rides — starting in Alaska and continuing with stops in Seattle, New York, Moscow and Siberia.

“I kid you not,” @samfromwendover says in the video.

Other TikTok users shared his bewilderment.

“I can’t wrap my head around that,” one commenter wrote.

Of course, it’s hard to say for sure if this is really the fastest way to travel between the two islands. That said, the Diomede Islands have plenty of bizarre quirks.

For one, the islands sit right on the International Date Line, meaning that despite their proximity, they’re actually a full 21 hours apart in time. This is why they’re sometimes called “Yesterday Island” and “Tomorrow Island.”

Even more strangely, it is actually possible to cross between the two islands without a flight — on foot. According to Travel + Leisure, the distance between the islands is sometimes walkable in the winter, when the ocean between them freezes.

Of course, that’s a totally hypothetical and illegal situation — so don’t go out and try it!

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