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Diomede Islands

The Diomede Islands (Big Diomede and Little Diomede) are two rocky islands located in the middle of the Bering Strait between Alaska and Siberia.

Straddling international borders as well as the International Date Line, the islands, 2 mi. (3 km) apart, are the closest land approach between the United States of America (which controlls Little Diomede) and Russia (Big Diomede, also known as Ratmanov Island). Big Diomede Island is Russia's easternmost point.


The islands were named by Danish explorer Vitus Bering in 1728.

The text of the 1867 treaty finalizing the sale of Alaska uses the islands to designate the boundary between the two nations: The border separates "equidistantly Krusenstern Island, or Ignaluk, from Ratmanov Island, or Nunarbuk, and heads northward infinitely until it disappears completely in the Arctic Ocean."

The Diomede Islands are often mentioned as likely intermediate stops for a bridge or tunnel spanning the Bering Strait.

See also