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Foreign Policy Analysis
Two Islands in Two Countries, Two Miles and 21 Hours Apart

Two Islands in Two Countries, Two Miles and 21 Hours Apart


This video was made possible by Dashlane. Start using Dashlane to securely store your
passwords for free at the link in the description. This is an island and this is an island. One’s big, one’s little, both are Diomede’s,
so here’s big Diomede, and here’s little Diomede—that’s logic. Both islands are here—smack dab in the middle
of the Bering Strait 25 miles from both Russia and the US. For non-Americans that’s 4,000,000 centimeters. Two lines run between these islands—the
US-Russia border and the international date line. That means that not only are these two islands
two miles apart in two different countries, but also that they are 21 hours apart in time. When it’s noon on a Thursday on the American
Little Diomede, it’s 9 am on a Friday on Big Diomede. The name of the islands originates from ancient
Greek where it roughly translates to “Zeus planned” but I’m not sure how much he
did putting his islands here because Russia already has a God. Zeus may know how to throw lightning bolts,
but Putin knows how to use Facebook advertising. On Little Diomede, the American one, is a
town called Diomede. Only 118 people live there so, you know, it’s
not enormous. This is the extent of the town—it’s smaller
than the entire state of Kansas. They’ve got a post office and general store,
but there’s no restaurant, no hotel, no phone service, no internet, in fact, the only
way they can communicate with the outside world is by satellite phone. Diomede is not the westernmost town in the
US, that title goes to Adak in the Aleutian Islands, but it is the closest to Russia. Not only is Diomede 2 miles from the Russian
Big Diomede and 25 miles from the Russian mainland, it’s also almost exactly as far
from Diomede to Moscow as it is to DC. Now, the Bering Strait has loads of sea-ice,
is very cold, and the weather’s terrible so getting to the island via boat usually
isn’t an option. It often looks like this. You could take a plane but planes often have
trouble landing on very very steep cliffs and the only flatish spot to put a runway
would be here but there are no roads on the island so there’s no way to get from here
to here… except walking, but this is America. We don’t walk. Occasionally in the winter the sea will freeze
enough for planes to land on the ice and bring in supplies but, for the majority of the year
the only way to get to the island is by helicopter to the heliport here on the west side of town. Diomede is the one and only place in the US
to have its mail delivered by helicopter. They arrive at least once a week from Nome,
Alaska organized by the US postal service. The USPS pays a helicopter operator $300,000
a year to run these flights and, since Diomede is part of the US, sending mail to Diomede
doesn’t cost any more than anywhere else in the US. You can send a postcard from DC to Diomede,
an island in the middle of the Bering Strait, for 35 cents or a small box for $7.20. I’ve had room service with higher delivery
fees than that. The US federal government also subsidizes
passenger flights to the island with an $190,000 yearly contract which brings the cost of a
passenger flight to the island to around $200 which is a great deal. Now, I know you’re thinking—$500,000 in
subsidies for an island of 135 people equals almost $4,000 per person which is a lot but
I will counter by saying that the US federal government spent $45,000 promoting pumpkin
donuts as a healthy eating choice. I think they can afford to pay for some helicopters
to keep this town existent. On the neighboring Big Diomede island is not
a whole lot. It also simply doesn’t exist on Apple Maps
which is a fun fact, I guess. Big Diomede has no native population—at
least, not since Russia kicked them out to build a military base towards the beginning
of the Cold War. The Cold War eventually ended and the Russian
military base closed but since then the Russian border guard has moved in and today their
agents are the only residents on the island. They work
to make sure nobody from Little Diomede swims over… but like seriously. It’s been done and they actively stop people
from crossing over. Before the Cold War, though, the indigenous
Eskimos just lived across the two islands with little regard for national borders. When the military base moved in and the residents
of Big Diomede were moved to the Russian mainland families were split and nowadays, there’s
really no way to legally get from Little Diomede to this region of Russia. Every once in a while, though, there’s talk
of building a bridge or tunnel from Alaska to Russia across the Bering Strait. It’d be incredibly expensive so it’s unlikely
it would ever happen but if it does, the Diomede islands would quite literally become highway
rest stops. Diomede was also the name of a hero in Greek
Mythology who eventually became the King of Argos—the city not the British retailer. But at the British retailer you could buy
this—a computer with which you could surf the net and sign up for websites but, if you
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100 comments on “Two Islands in Two Countries, Two Miles and 21 Hours Apart

  1. Disappointing to see educational video turn out To be a left-wing talking quite sad… In the future you got a think about just putting information out without a political agenda.

  2. I can't be the only one who is bothered by the fact that two sides of the date line are not one day apart.
    I mean for fucks sake.
    If it's noon in Greenwich it is midnight over there. Midnight one day on one side midnight the other day on the other side. Screw the zime zoning maps.

  3. 'This is america. We don't walk' Yeah I suppose you Americans swim through your toilet portals to your offices.

  4. I love how you used 4m centimeters but it just failed to be inconvenient because of how I could kilometres in my head

  5. You would rather tear the space time fabric and go into tomorrow than swimming 2.4 miles. That's humans for you.

  6. This looks like the Nights man watch 😂 Where the Lord Commander Jon Snow was killed and brought back to life

  7. Well it’s not the only place in the us supplied with helicopter, i think all of the us aircraft-carriers are also supplied with helicopters

  8. Really, people live there? I was stationed on Adak in the Aleutian island chain for 13 months and I ready to shoot myself….

  9. 3:17 I actually checked. Big Diomede Island DOES exist on Apple Maps. I think he may have been joking..

  10. This is an island, and this is an island, one's big, one's little, both are Diomedes, so here's big Diomede, and here's little Diomede. That's logic.

  11. “For non americans that’s 4 million centimeters”
    Jokes on you, the metric system actually makes sense

  12. Diomede is just like Tatooine. Young kids keeping saying,”I’ve gotta get out of here, go see the universe…”

  13. How funny would it be for every us person watching this video to send a card there. I think the helicopter needs a couple more trips.

  14. It is not the only place in the US to have it's mail delivered by helicopter. DHL delivers mail into NYC on a daily basis.

  15. It's really annoying because in Britain we use miles and people use stones and pounds and then some use the ''''''modern'''''' system of kgs and stuff yet in science we use kgs and stuff but when weighing themsleves they use pounds and stones and basiclly im super fucking confused cause people say to me in my high school that nobody uses kgs and people use pounds when basiclly everyone i know uses kgs

    Please help

  16. Grandpa: "Your generation relies too much on technology."
    Grandson: "No, your generation does!"
    {Grandson proceeds to unplug life support}

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