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Interesting Place with a 20 Hour Difference Although 3.8 Km Between Them: Diomede Islans

The Diomede islands are two islands located in the middle of the Bering Strait. Although the distance between them is 3.8 km, there is a time difference of 20 hours between them. this is because these islands form the border between the United States and Russia and the history line passes right through the middle of these two islands. So if you look at big diomede from little diomede, you see the future. history if you do the opposite.

Island in the west (east in terms of the date line) belongs to Russia and is called big diomede. Located in the east (west in terms of date line), the island belongs to the United States and is part of the state of alaska, and its name is little diome. There is a time difference of 21 hours in winter and 20 hours in summer between these two islands. for example; While the date in big diomede is 29.05.2020 - 16:33 while in little diomede it is 28.05.2020 - 20:33. so the big diomede island, which is connected to Russia, is called "tomorrow island", while the little diomede island belonging to the USA is called "yesterday island". at the same time, this range is where the border between the United States and Russia is closest to each other.

First known European to reach these islands was the Russian explorer Semyon Dezhnyov in 1648. 80 years later, on August 16, 1728, it was rediscovered by the Danish navigator vitus bering, and vitus bering gave this strait its name. semyon dezhnyov, although he proved the existence of bering before vitus, why he could not give his name, because he could not announce it enough. so much so that the German historian Gerhard Friedrich Müller was able to access the reports of the discovery of the semyon by chance in an archive in Yakutsk in 1736. when this happened, the throat that the semion had discovered was already called bering.

There is another tragic side as well as the interesting side of these two islands arising from the time difference. both islands are inuit, the indigenous people of the region (including the coasts of alaska and siberia). Until 1867, there was no problem because the islands and alaska belonged to Russia, but in 1867, after alaska and little diomede were sold to the United States, the Inuit people were separated from each other by an invisible wall. Suddenly, relatives were very close to each other, but also very far away. A settlement policy was not made until 1948, and from this year onwards, things began to get worse.

Until the Cold War, it was somewhat easier for the Inuit to visit each other, but from 1948 onwards, communication between the two islands was cut off like a knife. The Russian side, in particular, has begun to pursue an extremely strict policy of border protection, which has reached to open fire against the inuit who are trying to move from little diomede to big diomede because of family ties. Later, the Soviets further hardened this isolation, forcibly displacing the inuit living in Big Diomede to Russia on the mainland, to the vicinity of Siberia in the later stages of the Cold War. nowadays in big diomede there is only a russian military base and a weather station.

There are still around 115 inuit living in little diomede, which belongs to the United States, and they can see the old town of Big Diomede, which was evacuated from the west side of the town. Although there is no connection between them now, this policy must have had a very bad effect on families 70 years ago. Since the inuit were ignored at the time of the sale of Alaska to the United States, it was not considered how much of an impact this sale would have on the lifestyles and family relationships of the people living there.