Bering Strait

Satellite photo of the Bering Strait
Nautical chart of the Bering Strait

The Bering Strait is a strait of the Pacific, which separates Russia and Alaska slightly south of the Arctic Circle at about 65° 40' N latitude. The present Russia-US east-west boundary is at 168° 58' 37" W. The Straight is named after Vitus Bering, a Danish explorer in the service of the Russian Empire.

The Strait has been the subject of the scientific hypothesis that humans migrated from Asia to North America across a land bridge known as Beringia when lower ocean levels – perhaps a result of glaciers locking up vast amounts of water – exposed a wide stretch of the sea floor,[1] both at the present strait and in the shallow sea north and south of it. This view of how Paleo-Indians entered America has been the dominant one for several decades and continues to be the most accepted one. Numerous successful crossings without the use of a boat have also been recorded since at least the early 20th century.

Since 2012, the Russian coast of the Bering Strait has been a closed military zone. Through organized trips and the use of special permits, it is possible for foreigners to visit. All arrivals must be through an airport or a cruise port, near the Bering Strait only at Anadyr or Provideniya. Unauthorized travelers who arrive on shore after crossing the strait, even those with visas, may be arrested, imprisoned briefly, fined, deported and banned from future visas.[2]

Geography and science

The Bering Strait is about 82 kilometres (51 mi) wide at its narrowest point, between Cape Dezhnev, Chukchi Peninsula, Russia, the easternmost point (169° 43' W) of the Asian continent and Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, United States, the westernmost point (168° 05' W) of the North American continent. Its depth varies between 30 metres (98 ft) and 50 metres (160 ft).[3] It borders with the Chukchi Sea (part of the Arctic Ocean) to north and with the Bering Sea to south.

The International Date Line runs equidistant between the Strait's Diomede Islands at a distance of 1.5 km (1 mi), leaving the Russian and American sides usually on different calendar days, with Cape Dezhnev 21 hours ahead of the American side (20 hours during daylight saving time).

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Beringstraat
Alemannisch: Beringstraße
العربية: بيرنغ (مضيق)
azərbaycanca: Berinq boğazı
Bân-lâm-gú: Bering Hái-kiap
башҡортса: Беринг боғаҙы
беларуская: Берынгаў праліў
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Бэрынгаў праліў
български: Берингов проток
bosanski: Beringov prolaz
Cymraeg: Culfor Bering
davvisámegiella: Beringnuorri
Deutsch: Beringstraße
Esperanto: Beringa Markolo
한국어: 베링 해협
hornjoserbsce: Beringowy přeliw
hrvatski: Beringov prolaz
Bahasa Indonesia: Selat Bering
íslenska: Beringssund
עברית: מצר ברינג
Kiswahili: Mlango wa Bering
latgaļu: Beringa šauris
latviešu: Beringa šaurums
Lëtzebuergesch: Beringstrooss
Lingua Franca Nova: Streta Bering
македонски: Берингов Проток
მარგალური: ბერინგიშ საროტი
مصرى: بيرينج
Bahasa Melayu: Selat Bering
Nederlands: Beringstraat
Nedersaksies: Beringstroat
norsk nynorsk: Beringsundet
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Bering boʻgʻozi
português: Estreito de Bering
Simple English: Bering Strait
slovenčina: Beringov prieliv
slovenščina: Beringov preliv
српски / srpski: Берингов мореуз
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Beringov prolaz
svenska: Berings sund
татарча/tatarça: Беринг бугазы
Türkçe: Bering Boğazı
українська: Берингова протока
Tiếng Việt: Eo biển Bering
文言: 白令海峽
吴语: 白令海峡
粵語: 白令海峽
中文: 白令海峡