Skip Navigation
NPR News
A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer stands in front of a sign marked "Canada," beside an American state trooper. (National Film Board of Canada. Photothèque / Library and Archives Canada)

'Don't Touch Me,' Said Canada. 'I Won't!' Said The U.S.A. So They Moved 20 Feet Apart

Apr 25, 2014

Share this


The U.S. and Canada may be as lovey-dovey as two neighbors can get, but according to this charming video history by CGP Grey, both countries agreed to tuck themselves a little bit in, 10 feet back for America, 10 feet back for Canada, creating a corridor of open, surveillable, clear space between them.

This ribbon of emptiness is constantly monitored, regularly gardened (Baby Tree! Be gone!) and persists for 5,500 continuous miles — considered the longest deforested straight line in the world — protecting the U.S. and Canada from interlopers, or beavers without passports.

Except for one thing — it isn't straight.

The engineers who tried to follow the 49th parallel used primitive instruments, and, it appears, twine, and so the border got a wee bit zigzaggy, producing a number of problems, a few of which are delightfully described here ...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

Visitor comments

on:

NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.