Quiz Answer

Previously I asked what were the eastern-, western-, northern-, and southern-most states in the United States.  Three out of the four answers are gimmes.  The southernmost state is, of course, Hawaii, where South Point, HI at approximately 18° 54’N.  The northernmost state is Alaska, with Point Barrow weighing in at approximately 71° 26’N.  The westernmost state is also Alaska, but where precisely in Alaska that is depends on how you measure.  The discussion page of Extreme points in the United States on Wikipedia explains that if you use lattitude and longitude, Alaska is the easternmost point in the U.S.  If you use driving direction, however, Maine takes the honor.

Here’s my view: we often refer to China and Japan as “The Far East”, even though to get there from California, one would fly in a westerly direction.  This says to me that the logic behind driving direction isn’t all that sound.  Given my view, what are those eastern- and western-most points?  Google Earth, at least, gives the impression that the westernmost point would be Amatignak Island at 179° 08′ W, and the easternmost point would be Semisopochnoi Island at 179° 45’E.  Again, this assumes we’re talking about states.  We have possessions in various places that I haven’t reviewed.

One thought on “Quiz Answer”

  1. I’ve always guessed that that label came (a) from the perspective of Europe, primarily, and (b) quite possibly from the time when the world was thought to be flat, and the Americas not known about by those in Europe. Ergo, Japan would be pretty Far East. No?

    Perhaps it’s merely a case of antiquated naming sticking around?

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