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4 Geographical Facts That Will Change the Way You Look at the U.S.
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June 3, 2019
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Jessica Scott
Jessica A. Scott has been a novelist and freelance writer for over 10 years. She loves travel and divides her time between her original hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, and Saronno, Italy.
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If you live in the U.S. and have spent any amount of time looking at the map of the country, you probably think you have a good grasp on the geography of the United States. We have a feeling these four geographical facts will surprise you, however.

Maine Is the Closest State to Africa

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When you think of Maine, its proximity to the deserts of Africa probably doesn't come to mind. Surprisingly, though, Maine is the closest U.S. state to Africa. Maine's Quoddy Head peninsula is within 3,154 miles of El Beddouza, Africa. The two are divided by the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean and not much else, so if you ever want to say that you came close to visiting Africa without actually leaving the country, head to Maine.

Alaska Is the Northernmost, Easternmost and Westernmost State

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It is easy to guess that Alaska is the northernmost state in the United States, since it sits way up there on the map between Canada and Russia. It also isn't a stretch to assume that this state is the westernmost, especially if you have seen that Alaska's Aleutian Islands stretch between it and Russia. What you might not have known before, though, is that Alaska can also claim the easternmost spot in the United States too thanks to an uninhabited island called Semisopochnoi. This island sits just on the other side of the meridian that separates the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, meaning that it is basically so far west that it becomes east.

If You Head South From Detroit, You Could End up in Canada

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We can hear you now: "Wait a second ... isn't Canada north of the United States?" And the answer to this is yes ... and no. Most of Canada is above the U.S. on the map, but a small part of it reaches down just underneath Detroit. Because of this, traveling south and slightly to the east from a few places in Detroit could bring you to Canada, which may or may not be disorienting for you, depending on whether you did it on purpose or not.

Minnesota Has the Most Shoreline in the United States

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Minnesota has been called the "land of 10,000 lakes," and it has the shorelines to prove it. Minnesota has an incredible 90,000 miles of shoreline, which is more than Florida, California and Hawaii combined.