Which country is closest to the United States without sharing a border?
While many people may think that Russia is the closest country to the US, it still shares a maritime border with it, Russian territorial waters touch American territorial waters, as do those of the Bahamas and Cuba.
The closest country that shares neither a terrestrial nor a maritime border with the US is actually France!
I hear people already saying that can’t be, France is across the ocean!
Well, in fact, you can get a taste of France just 850km (528mi) away from Maine, on the border of Canada. There’s a tiny bit of France there that wasn’t taken away by the British along with the rest of North America.
I’m talking about the archipelago of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.
These tiny islands are an overseas territory of France in North America, a leftover from their colonial empire. It was settled along with the rest of New France (a large share of today’s Midwest and Quebec) centuries ago. But, unlike the rest of New France, it was never lost to the British or sold to America, and it never became independent despite multiple referendums on the matter since 1945, the inhabitants have always chosen to remain a part of France.
Saint Pierre and Miquelon is an archipelago of eight islands, Saint-Pierre (25 km²) and Miquelon-Langlade (216 km²) being the major ones. Collectively the area of the islands is 242 km², which is about the size of Brooklyn in New York City. The total coastline is 120 km.
Capital: Saint-Pierre; 46°47′N 56°11′W / 46…
The islands are situated in the Gulf of St. Lawrence near the entrance of Fortune Bay, which extends into the southwestern coast of Newfoundland, near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland They are 25 kilometres (16 mi) from the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland and 3,819 kilometres (2,373 mi) from Brest, the nearest city in Metropolitan France.
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon isn’t a special collectivity as are French Polynesia, New Caledonia, or Wallis and Futuna, it’s a region of France, just like existing regions in mainland France and benefits from the same status, laws, and duties as any other region in France. To put it simply, it is France.
In spite being located at a similar latitude to the Bay of Biscay, the archipelago is characterized by a cold borderline humid continental/subarctic climate, under the influence of polar air masses and the cold Labrador Current. The mild winters for being a subarctic climate also means it has influences of subpolar oceanic climate, thus being at the confluence of three climatic types. The February mean is just below the −3 °C (27 °F) isotherm for that classification.
Due to just three months being above 10 °C (50 °F) in mean temperatures and winter lows being so mild, Saint Pierre and Miquelon. The average temperature is 5.3 °C (41.5 °F), with a temperature range of 19 °C (34 °F) between the warmest (15.7 °C (60.3 °F) in August) and coldest months (−3.6 °C (25.5 °F) in February).] Precipitation is abundant (1,312 mm or 51.7 in per year) and regular (146 days per year), falling as snow and rain.Because of its location at the confluence of the cold waters of the Labrador Current and the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, the archipelago is also crossed a hundred days a year by fog banks, mainly in June and July.
Two other climatic elements are remarkable: the extremely variable winds and haze during the spring to early summer.
The second closest country to share neither a terrestrial nor a maritime border would be Bermuda which is a British overseas territory and is 1063km (660mi) from the closest US coastline.
The islands are very quiet as in this story:
Miriam Rosen was the mother of five kids under the age of 8. Her Aunt Sarah called her one morning, and their conversation was constantly being interrupted by the din of kids screaming and chasing each other. “Could you hold on for a moment?” Miriam finally asked, putting down the phone.
Within ten seconds there was absolute silence on the line. Then, “Okay, I’m back.”
“But it’s so quiet!” Aunt Sarah exclaimed. “You must have amazing discipline over your children.”
“Not really,” Miriam confessed wearily. “I’m in the closet.”