If you know something about the cold war, you would know about the Cuban missile crisis in which Russia stationed several powerful and deadly nuclear missiles in Cuba, which was in striking distance of Florida and threatened the lives of millions living in Miami, Orlando, and other surrounding areas. Luckily, nuclear war didn’t break out. However, did you know that Russia didn’t actually have to station nuclear weapons on Cuba to directly threaten American soil – instead, they could just have stationed weapons in Siberia.
Why? You might ask – Russia and United States have the entire Pacific Ocean between them. Correct – but don’t forget the 50th state – Alaska! Alaska, connected to Canada, is actually very, very close to Russia. Some Alaskans and Russians both reported that on clear days, if you stood on a mountain/a high spot you could see Alaska from Russia (and Russia from Alaska).
Now let’s look at the exact distance. The Bering Strait is the body of water between Alaska and Russia, and it is only 82 kilometers (51 miles) wide at its narrowest point. On the other hand, the distance from Florida Keys and Cuba, is 90 km. Florida Keys are a small archipelago chain at the southern tip of Florida. That’s a 8 km difference!
But wait – that’s not the end of it? There are two islands in the Bering Strait, Big Diomede (which is owned by Russia) and Small Diomede (which is owned by the USA). The people who live there are only 3.8km away from each other! In fact, beforethe cold war, people used to pass from USA to Russia all the time for seasonal visits, trading, etc, but that mingling was put to a stop during the Cold War – all naval and air traffic was stopped and the area was known as the Ice Curtain.
Next time if you go to Alaska, see if you can see Russia from across the Bering Strait! If you thought this Ridiculous Fact was interesting, don’t forget to share this post on your social networks.