Bering Strait: Corridor to the New World

Bering Strait: Corridor to the New World
Bering Strait: Corridor to the New World

The Bering Strait connects the Arctic Ocean with the Bering Sea and separates two continents: Asia and North America. The Russian-American border passes through it. It is named after Vitus Bering, a Danish captain who sailed it in 1728. However, there is still debate about who discovered the Bering Strait. The delta of the Anadyr River, which could only be accessed through this strait, was explored by the Cossack Semyon Dezhnev back in 1649. But later his discovery went unnoticed.

Bering Strait

The average depth of the strait is 30-50 meters, and the width at its narrowest point reaches 85 kilometers. Numerous islands exist in the strait, including Diomede Island and St. Lawrence Island. Some of the waters of the Bering Sea enter the Arctic Ocean through the strait, but most of it flows into the Pacific Ocean. In winter, the Bering Strait is prone to severe storms, the sea is covered with ice up to 1.5 meters thick. Drift ice remains here even in the middle of summer.

About 20-25 thousand years ago, duringDuring the Ice Age, the monumental continental glaciers that formed in the northern hemisphere of the Earth contained so much water that the level of the world's seas was more than 90 meters lower than now. In the Bering Strait region, falling sea levels have exposed a massive, glacier-free tract known as the Bering Bridge or Beringia. He connected

bridge across the Bering Strait

modern Alaska with northeast Asia. Many scientists suggest that Beringia had tundra vegetation, and even reindeer were found on it. The isthmus opened the way for people to the North American continent. 10-11 thousand years ago, due to the melting of glaciers, the sea level rose, and the bridge across the Bering Strait was completely flooded.

In theory, today, to get from Russian Chukotka to American Alaska, it is enough to sail two hours by ferry. However, both the US and Russia restrict access to the reservoir. It is practically impossible for either an American or a Russian inhabitant to obtain permission to swim in the Bering Strait. Sometimes adventurers illegally try to cross it by kayak, swim or ice.

Bering Strait Delta

There is an erroneous opinion that the strait freezes completely in winter, and it can be easily crossed over the ice. However, there is a strong northerly current which usually results in large channels of open water. Sometimes these channels are clogged with moving pieces of ice, so it is theoretically possible, moving from piece to piece, and in some areas moving by swimming,cross the strait.

Currently, there are two cases of successful crossing of the Bering Strait. The first was recorded in 1998, when a father and son from Russia tried to walk to Alaska. They spent many days at sea on drifting blocks of ice, until finally they were brought to the shores of Alaska. And not so long ago, in 2006, the English traveler Karl Bushby and his American friend Dimitri Kiefer made the return trip. In Chukotka, they were detained by the Russian FSB and deported back to the United States. There were several other similar attempts, but they all ended with the fact that the rescuers had to use helicopters to lift people from ice blocks.

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