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Widest Countries

Name the countries that have the longest east/west spans.
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Span
Country
10,564 km
5,823 km
5,224 km
4,563 km
4,329 km
4,045 km
3,151 km
3,008 km
2,887 km
2,523 km
Span
Country
2,176 km
2,110 km
2,122 km
1,911 km
1,820 km
1,773 km
1,702 km
1,670 km
1,634 km
1,610 km
Answer Stats
Span
Country
% Correct
Your %
+2
level ∞
Aug 8, 2015
This quiz is based on original research. The distances are approximate, and may be slightly generous. Please let me know if I made any major mistakes.
+4
level 75
Aug 9, 2015
BTW, I am a bit skeptical of Morocco. How are we measuring this? Even Niger right next to it looks far wider. You cannot even draw a continuous line between Morocco's most eastern and western points, as the border with Mauritania does not allow it. If this is the case, then I think it is impossible for Morocco to make the list.
+3
level 75
Aug 9, 2015
I guess the continuous part just means water. So you take the largest mainland of the country and mark it's farthest east and west points, and measure the horizontal distance between them.
+1
level ∞
Aug 10, 2015
Yes, this is correct. I'm struggling to find a succinct and accurate way to phrase this. We choose the eastern and westernmost points that exist on a continuous land mass, not including exclaves. Then I calculate the approximate width of this in miles.
+1
level 54
Feb 15, 2016
How about Western Sahara???
+1
level 23
Jul 23, 2017
Are you counting Western Sahara? It's not really part of Morocco.
+4
level 64
Jul 23, 2017
Yeah, there's a weird consensus that seems to have developed on this site that, to put it in one way, Kosovo is something that Western Sahara and Palestine are not. This is how the U.S. government lines up on the respective cases, but there's no consensus about them. (And, while I'm at it, Somaliland has been independent since 1991, regardless of international recognition.)
+2
level 53
Sep 6, 2017
Western Sahara (42 recognising countries), Palestine (136 recognising countries), South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and others like them are considered not to be countries by Jetpunk. Taiwan (22 *official* recognising countries) and Kosovo (115 recognising countries) are considered to be countries by Jetpunk. the mechanism for Jetpunk's decisions is unclear, but it seems to be based on the United States' official record (including the Burma/Myanmar controversy).
+4
level ∞
Sep 6, 2017
@Aesthus. I don't care what the UN or the US recognize. They could recognize Sealand for all I care. The test that we use, and have always used, is sovereign control of territory which Taiwan has, and Palestine and Western Sahara don't.
+2
level 18
May 12, 2018
Forgot China....
+1
level 20
May 18, 2018
Wow...Sealand is just a tower looking thing in the ocean. How can that be a country, the world may never know. At least it isn't a country.
+1
level 74
Aug 9, 2015
Can you explain how you define the "width" of a country? I find some of your estimates quite generous indeed, especially for countries with high latitudes. For example, I find about 8000km for Russia and 5200 for Canada (which would be behind China).
+1
level ∞
Aug 10, 2015
For the Russian mainland, I get a longitudinal span of 191.3 degrees. In your calculations did you take into account that Russia's easternmost point is actually in the western hemisphere?
+1
level ∞
Aug 10, 2015
And yes, we take into account latitude, but use a generous estimate. I use the latitude of either the easternmost or westernmost point, whichever is closest to the equator.
+1
level 74
Aug 10, 2015
You're right, I also made a slight mistake. Wikipedia tells me that the westernmost point of mainland Russia is at 27°E, and the easternmost at 169°W, which would give a span of (180°-27°) + (180°-169°) = 164°, am I wrong? The wiki page does not give the latitude of those points, but I tend to choose an average value on the territory, which would be close to 60°N for Russia. So I guess we would finally get something like 9000km... the only sure thing is that Russia is by a long way the widest country ;).
+1
level ∞
Aug 10, 2015
Sorry, that was a mistake. I get a longitude span of 164.017.
+2
level 30
Sep 7, 2017
What I take it to mean is that if you constructed the smallest possible rectangle, based on latitude and longitude, that could contain a country, what would it's length and width be?
+1
level 35
May 12, 2018
Huh?
+1
level 70
Aug 10, 2015
The concept of "wide" means looking only from an east-west perspective. I've done a Longest Countries quiz that looks at the greatest distance from one end of each country's mainland to the other, regardless of compass direction. There is also means less debate about how to calculate the distances.
+1
level 48
Oct 27, 2015
Probably better using the longitude of each ends of the countries
+1
level 58
Oct 27, 2015
I am personally surprised that Morocco made the list and South Africa didn't. Could you check that, cause it doesn't seem right to me. Otherwise an interesting quiz.
+1
level 49
Oct 27, 2015
You should reverse Algeria and D.R. Congo, they are out of order.
+1
level 20
Apr 10, 2018
um, you missed INDONESIA?????
+3
level 59
May 12, 2018
Read the instructions: "Continuous spans on the same land mass".
+1
level 67
Aug 9, 2015
I don't understand how DRC is wider than Australia...
+1
level 74
Aug 9, 2015
Yes, DRC must be a "major mistake". I would estimate it around 2300km.
+2
level ∞
Aug 10, 2015
I was going to write something about the Mercator projection, but actually I just made a mistake. This has been fixed.
+1
level 21
May 22, 2016
Yeah. That would have been funny given the fact that it is over 700km between Adelaide and Melbourne.
+1
level 70
Aug 9, 2015
The longest straight line across Canada I can get without transiting the sea is 4696 km, and for Russia it's 6623 km. It's tricky though, because the shortest east-west distance can be quite a bit longer than the shortest distance between the easternmost and westernmost points!!! especially for Russia. Try it out on a globe to see what I mean.
+1
level 74
Aug 9, 2015
The problem is, that the lines that can be considered as straight lines on a sphere are great circles, which parallels are not... That's why I maintain that the width of a country is not well-defined.
+1
level 74
Aug 10, 2015
After a bit of thinking, I'm sure that one must use the great-circle distance to get a somewhat pertinent result. It can prove to be surprising... for example, if you take a value of 164° for Russia's longitude span and a latitude of 60° for the extremities of the arc, it gives a value of... only 6600km, which is interestingly close to the value given by Jerry928. I will compute the values for the other top 5 countries. I use this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great-circle_distance
+1
level 74
Aug 10, 2015
Strangely, the USA are the most puzzling country, because the westernmost and eastermost points are both at high latitude and don't provide the highest distance between points on the west and east boundary of the 48 states... Once again, I don't think this is very well defined. It's a much more complicated problem than expected. Anyway, here are my estimates: 1) Russia: 6200km ; 2) China and Canada: both very close to 5000km ; 4) USA: between 4400km and 4700km ; 5) Brazil: 4250km
+1
level 74
Aug 10, 2015
Oh, and this is quite helpful to understand the difference between the orthodromic distance, which is the only true distance on a sphere, and the loxodrome (or rhumb line), i.e. a straight line on a Mercator projection. http://www.sciences.univ-nantes.fr/sites/genevieve_tulloue/Meca/RefTerre/Orthodromie1.php
+1
level ∞
Aug 10, 2015
I did find a couple errors in my calculations, but I think they are closer to accurate now. For Russia, I get a longitude span of 164.017 degrees. I used the latitude of the easternmost point of 54.65. Approximating a degree as 69.172 miles, gives me this formula for the span: 69.172 * 164.017 * cos(54.65) = 6564.08 miles. Convert to kilometers to yield 10,564 kilometers.
+1
level 74
Aug 10, 2015
Like I said above, it's not reasonable to use the rhumb line distance (or at least, it is artificial). If you go from (27°E, 54,5°N) to (169°W, 54,5°N) by the shortest possible way on the surface of the earth, it will be 7800km long, not 10500. Seriously, my link above really helps realizing that.
+1
level ∞
Aug 10, 2015
And yes we are using the rhumb line, even though it may not be the shortest line between two distances. Your great circle for Russia likely goes over the north pole, which explains why we are so far apart for that country. I think that violates the idea of traveling east-west, which really only works on a flat map.
+1
level 74
Aug 10, 2015
Ok, that's your quiz, you can of course make that choice, but I must admit that I don't like that. For me, if the line presents a maximum in latitude, it's sufficient for the idea of traveling east-west...
+1
level ∞
Aug 10, 2015
p.s. Thanks for your help!
+1
level 74
Aug 10, 2015
You're welcome. It's fun to think about that problem (yes, I like maths ;) ).
+1
level 73
Aug 10, 2015
Don't change a thing...I got 100% on both.
+1
level 74
Aug 10, 2015
I was also wondering about South Africa. Using your definition, I find 1630km.
+1
level ∞
Aug 11, 2015
I got 1,607.
+1
level 56
Oct 27, 2015
I was also thinking South Africa is wider, just did a simple straight line measurement from Alexander bay(just south of Namibia border) to the kosi river mouth (just south of the mozambique border) = 1630
+1
level 65
Nov 24, 2016
To be widest I presume means East to West along a latitude line and not crossing other countries in doing so. The best I can get on Google Earth is just over 1,600 km......... much like the answer given by Quizmaster.
+1
level 27
Jan 13, 2017
Because Lesotho is in the way
+1
level 43
May 12, 2018
Above the quizmaster explains that s/he takes the easternmost and westernmost points of the country on a single landmass and calculates the distance between them. If that's correct, then Lesotho doesn't really matter here.
+1
level 47
Oct 27, 2015
Indonesia?
+1
level 47
Jan 11, 2017
Not on one landmass
+1
level 49
Oct 27, 2015
Full marks Broseph Stalins!
+1
level 60
Oct 27, 2015
Impressive. It's actually pulled ahead of the "Countries of the World" quiz.
+1
level 40
Oct 27, 2015
That's just based on today, not all time
+1
level 66
Nov 28, 2015
Very surprised Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan didn't make it.
+1
level 62
Nov 28, 2015
Same, and Ukraine maybe...?
+1
level 65
Jan 24, 2016
"Continuous" means, that Island Nations are fully excluded? Kiribati spanns over 4.000 km from east to west.
+2
level 73
Jan 25, 2016
"on the same land mass"
+1
level 30
Feb 15, 2016
why can't indonesia is not on the list? indonesia has a very wide area.
+2
level 21
May 22, 2016
Read the notes.
+1
level 54
Feb 15, 2016
And I thought I was good at geography! On the plus side, I typing in the least gotten country-Morocco. :D How is Indonesia not here though
+2
level 21
May 22, 2016
Read the notes.
+1
level 22
Feb 15, 2016
Indonesia should make the list. Unless you discount islands.
+2
level 21
May 22, 2016
Read the notes.
+1
level 33
Feb 16, 2016
Guessed them all but the United States!!
+1
level 50
May 22, 2016
The one country I missed was The United States, lol
+1
level 43
May 22, 2016
I can't believe I actually got all of them
+1
level 41
Oct 5, 2016
Enjoyed this one got Morocco with a minute to spare
+1
level 64
Nov 24, 2016
Is it possible not to think about Australia??? Helle yeah...
+2
level 13
Jan 11, 2017
Im A person
+2
level 47
Jan 11, 2017
At first I read it as "wildest" countries and wondered if it meant untamed nature or population
+1
level 47
Sep 5, 2017
me too
+1
level 46
Jan 12, 2017
Where is Indonesia??!
+2
level 47
Jul 21, 2017
This quiz only counts continuous landmasses. Indonesia has many islands and none are wide enough to count.
+1
level 39
Jan 12, 2017
I thought Argentina would be in the list :(
+1
level 27
Jan 13, 2017
iran
+2
level 47
Jul 21, 2017
I may be wrong, but just by eye Norway looks like it should be on this quiz. It looks wider than Turkey and Libya. Is this just because of distortion on my map to make countries that are further north look wider, or should it be on here?
+1
level 64
Aug 3, 2017
Maybe you're confusing height for width.
+2
level 47
Dec 4, 2017
No, I mean width. Just by longitude it has a 26 degree east-west span compared to 19 for Turkey and 16 for Libya (approximately). I am not sure it is really possible to measure such a distance in miles and this is probably why there is no secondary source to back the quiz up. You can measure a distance in miles but on a spherical earth you can't really say how much of that is the east-west or the north-south direction.
+1
level 48
Mar 11, 2018
Everything in that area looks wider and longer in the map. but if you look it in a globe, things will be different..
+1
level 55
Jul 23, 2017
I can't believe that I thought to type Niger and Libya before trying Australia. I got it in the last few seconds.
+1
level 11
Aug 9, 2017
Got them all at first try. Surprised by Morocco
+1
level 29
Sep 6, 2017
Good quiz.
+1
level 54
Sep 7, 2017
Namibia?
+1
level 32
Dec 3, 2017
morocco. nope
+1
level 38
Dec 4, 2017
Almost forgot China... 20/20
+1
level 33
Dec 4, 2017
Indonesia is at a disadvantage. If it was one landmass, I'm sure it'd make the list.
+1
level 15
Dec 12, 2017
how did ukraine not make the list?
+8
level 67
Dec 21, 2017
It isn't as wide as the countries on the list
+1
level 46
Jan 25, 2018
Clearly the question/parameters of the question is poorly defined. The distance between the eastern-most point to the western-most point of both Norway and Sweden would surely make them eligible to be on this list. The only way they wouldn't would be if you are measuring a single, longest UNBROKEN span of the country, which you don't define in the question. Update your question if you must, because otherwise I see an error in this quiz.
+1
level 47
Feb 25, 2018
It's only east-west distance. Because Norway and Sweden are both quite *tall* as well that part of the distance must not be counted. But I agree that the question is not really defined in the quiz. I think there probably is a way to measure the distance so that the countries closer to the poles are not disadvantaged but I'm not sure if this is what was used or not.
+1
level 47
Feb 25, 2018
The reason for this is that the westernmost point of both countries is far further south than the easternmost point.
+1
level 27
Jan 26, 2018
I forgot China. I feel stupid.
+1
level 53
May 12, 2018
i wonder how the answers would change if the countries were ranked by difference in degrees longitude between the easternmost and westernmost points
+1
level 38
May 12, 2018
They are, excluding exclaves
+1
level 53
May 13, 2018
The quiz uses horizontal distance, which helps the countries nearer the equator
+1
level 27
May 12, 2018
%100 with 0:20 on the clock. Almost forgot about Morocco
+1
level 27
May 12, 2018
And Ukraine is about 300km away from making this list....
+1
level 62
May 12, 2018
I think you should mention that you've measured diagonally.
+1
level 28
May 12, 2018
14/20 not bad
+1
level 52
May 12, 2018
100%!!! YES!
+1
level 39
May 13, 2018
I would have included Indonesia. I suppose you don't count the ocean distance between the islands, but it seems to me that you should.
+1
level 62
May 13, 2018
How about Indonesia?
+1
level 31
May 14, 2018
hey Quizmaster, what about Indonesia?
+1
level 56
May 15, 2018
The note says "continuous land mass," and much of Indonesia is separated by the ocean. I think that once you wade into that territory (excuse the pun), it gets dicey. You'd probably have to add Micronesia and Kiribati too.
+1
level 41
May 14, 2018
Gosh, missed Morocco.
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