Can You Tell What Countries These International Border Crossings Are In?

WORLD

By: Zoe Samuel

7 Min Quiz

Image: mantaphoto / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Borders mean different things to different nations. For decades, the USA believed in "manifest destiny," pushing its western border until it reached the Pacific. To the Romans, borders were trophies, trade routes and the abstract ideas of what it meant to be called a Roman. Perhaps no time best illustrated the importance of borders and their meaning than the Cold War, when the communist East and the capitalist/democratic West pressed hard on their borders, causing anxiety up and down the fringe of the Iron Curtain.

A country's borders, in combination with its geography, determines how well it can trade, how well defended it is, what natural resources are available and the size of the population it is capable of supporting. As a result, nations guard their borders, seeing every move of their neighbors as a potential threat. Border crossings can be friendly affairs where commuters travel every day, or they can be militarized death traps through which none shall pass. Border crossings happen by accident, and sometimes they happen deliberately, to trade spies or to trade favors between monarchs. Some borders are disputed, while others have been set in stone for centuries, sometimes literally. Do you think you know the world's many border crossings? It's time to find out how worldly you are!

One would definitely want to cross this border for the view. Where is it?

Separating Zimbabwe from Zambia, Victoria Falls is a sight to behold. One of the largest waterfalls in the world (there are many measures for this) the best views are said to be on the Zimbabwean side of the falls.

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This border crossing is guarded by some serious military hardware. Between which countries is it?

The Demilitarized Zone or DMZ that separates North and South Korea has a lot of military hardware around it for such a name. Either way, thec is the main border, and it once it was the only border crossing between the Koreas.

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What is the name of this border crossing on this unassuming street in Vermont?

Derby Line is one of the colloquial names used for a border crossing between the U.S. and Canada. It is located (on the American side) at Derby Line, Vermont, and on the Canadian side, Stanstead, Quebec. There is even a library on the border, which really gives new meaning to the sayings about how books can transport the reader.

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This is one of the busiest ports of entry in the world. What border crossing is it?

The 21st busiest airport in the world, John F. Kennedy International Airport is a major intake point for international travelers coming from the east of North America. A massive airport with many terminals, JFK currently has 54 passenger airlines operating regularly in its main terminals.

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Just imagine how quiet this place must be. What border crossing do you think this is?

The Little St. Bernard Pass is a mountain pass in the Alps and a border crossing from Switzerland into northern Italy. Many people do not think of Swiss mountains as the sort of thing one would see in northern Italy, but the people living around Lake Como would beg to differ.

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No longer a border crossing, this border crossing was created by natural forces. What border crossing is it?

The Rio Grande more or less forms the southernmost border of the United States, but rivers have a way of wiggling around. When an 1897 flood of the river ended, the river was in a different place, but the border was the same. This meant now there was an island off he border of the river, that was in Mexico, necessitating this crossing until 1967.

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This border crossing separates a country from another country, but the first country isn't connected to itself. What crossing is it?

Thanks to a quirk of the 49th parallel, there's a little bit of America attached to Canada on the north side of Boundary Bay in Washington State. One has to leave the U.S. to get to this bit of America, and to get from that bit of America to Canada involves passing through the Peace Arch in Blaine, Washington.

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Some border crossings are contentious and heavily guarded, as is this one. Which is it?

The Wagah-Attari border crossing at Grand Trunk Road is the scene of a daily international dance-off between soldiers from Pakistan and soldiers from India. Conducted at sunset, it's a way for the two sides of a serious international conflict to engage with each other in a way that isn't by fighting.

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Heavenly, isn't it? What is the name of this border crossing?

The Reschen Pass is a breathtaking Alpine border crossing and mountain pass between Austria and Italy. Think of it as the scenery from "The Sound of Music" with the cuisine of "Roman Holiday."

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A modern architecture masterpiece? It's in the eye of the beholder. What border crossing do you believe this to be?

Located in Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia, Bangunan Sultan Iskandar — or BSI for short — was completed in 2008, and at nearly 2.5 million square feet, it dominates immigration in the region, at least by road. It is the second busiest land border checkpoint in the world.

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This border opened up in 2003 but was a strange bit of theater before then. What border crossing is it?

Before joining the European Union and opening the border, the southern (Greek) part of Cyprus and the northern (Turkish) part of Cyprus had very high tensions around their border, and the United Nations had to step in to keep the peace. Now, with the open border, commerce and tourism win the day!

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Where is this exceptionally stark border crossing?

The Trans-Mongolian Railway is a scenic but strange way to travel from China to Mongolia. Slicing through a remote and desolate landscape, the journey includes something called "the changing of the bogies," in which the trains are lifted off their trucks (the wheels) and placed on new ones because the train tracks in Mongolia are completely different from what they are in China.

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The lonely islands seen here straddle the International Date Line. What border crossing are they?

The Diomede Islands aren't in one country. One, in Alaska, is American, while the other is Russian. Yes, one can be seen from the other. In addition to the border between the two, the International Date Line runs between them.

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This may be the most famous border crossing of them all. What is its name?

After World War II, Germany was a divided country, and Berlin was a divided city. The border crossing in Berlin, famous for many a spy transfer, was Checkpoint C, also known as Checkpoint Charlie.

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What you see here is a border crossing that takes up about one fifty-fifth of the entire country. What are we looking at?

Singapore is 277 miles in area. Changi Airport, which services Singapore is 5 square miles in area. That means the airport is just about one fifty-fifth the size of the entire country. This is impressive, given that it's one of the busiest airports in the world.

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This border crossing is between two nations whose border is visible from space. What border crossing is it?

The Malpasse–Jimani border crossing between Haiti and the Dominican Republic is the busiest of the three border crossings opened to those who are not from either nation. The other two border crossings are Ouanaminthe–Dajabon and Belladere–Comendador. Due to deforestation in Haiti, the border is often visible in satellite photos.

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One nation feared the existence of this border crossing for centuries. Then they built it. What is it?

For centuries, the British worried about the possibility of the French building a tunnel under the English Channel, fearing that it could be used for an invasion. In the late 20th century, this tunnel, nicknamed the Chunnel, was built in cooperation between the U.K. and the French governments.

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This lonely spot is the crossing of a border between two major nations. Which of these border crossings is it?

The Zabaykalsk-Manzhouli border crossing between Russia and China is the result of conflicts between Russia and China almost a century ago, and it was the site of an overlooked event in WWII. It was here that a group of Jewish refugees escaping the Nazis were allowed entry into China.

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What you see here is one of the busiest border crossings in the world. Which of these is it?

The second-busiest airport in the world by international passenger travel and the seventh-busiest overall, Heathrow Airport is the busiest transit hub in Europe. Though the border has changed due to Brexit, the fact that this is a major international crossing remains, as anyone who has to wait on line at immigration and customs will attest.

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This border crossing remains legally a border crossing, but one side disputes it and the other can do little about it. What is it?

Russia and Ukraine were once both elements of the USSR. In that time, the USSR designated the Crimean Peninsula as part of Ukraine, as a gift from Russia, returning what it had once taken. In recent years, Vladimir V. Putin of Russia's regime illegally annexed the peninsula, rendering this border crossing a relic of a past to which the nations may never return.

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What you see here is a border crossing between two nations with "a history." What border crossing is it?

Vaalimaa is one of the two major border crossings between Finland and Russia. The Finns have a long history of being invaded by Russia, going back centuries. They even have a special word to refer to the type of stoic bravery they have had to develop in order to face the Russian armies: "Sisu."

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The border crossing seen here is the busiest of its kind in the world. Which of these border crossings is it?

Dubai International Airport may have opened in 1960, but it has come a long way since then, rising to become the busiest airport by international passenger traffic in the world. It manages this with only three terminals, one of which is for cargo only.

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What you see here is a very busy international border crossing for its part of the world. Where are we?

Located in southeastern Canada, Toronto Pearson International Airport is among the busiest airports in the world, and it is the busiest airport in Canada. Serving both passengers and cargo, this airport has only three terminals.

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This is a gorgeous border crossing. What's its name?

Øresundsbroen, AKA Øresund Bridge, is a border crossing between Denmark and Sweden. The largest bridge to combine trains and motor vehicles, it connects Malmö, Sweden, to Copenhagen, Denmark.

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This may look like an ordinary town, but its border is more complex than in nearly any other place in the world. Where is this?

Belgium and the Netherlands have been shaped by wars and deals struck by various European aristocrats over the centuries. One result of this is the combined border towns of Baarle-Hertog, where bits of the Netherlands are dotted throughout the Belgian parts of the city and vice versa.

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Stark and white, this is one of the most remote borders in the world. Despite this, one could enter one of many nations here. Where is it?

The South Pole seems like an odd place for a border to exist at all, but one does. Seven nations, in fact, share a single spot as a border at the South Pole. Those nations, in alphabetical order, are Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom.

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The bridge seen here is an old border crossing. Which is it?

The border crossing at Hidalgo, Texas, has been around a long time. Before it ran over the McAllen–Hidalgo–Reynosa International Bridge (built in 1926), it consisted of a rickety old ferry.

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This border crossing has tight security because one leads to a resort town. What's its name?

If one wants to get to the resort town of Eilat, Israel, from Egypt, one must pass through the Taba border crossing. Located on the southern tip of Israel, Eilat is a fun little resort town where one can lounge on the beach or go scuba diving, but there are no real historical sites worth mentioning.

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Connecting two major countries, this border crossing is in a small area where, in a short amount of time, one could travel through several countries. Where is it?

Col des Montets is an Alpine mountain pass connecting the picturesque village of Chamonix in France to Martigny in Switzerland. Once in the Swiss Alps, it is possible to get on a cable car which will take you to the top of an Alp in Italy.

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A crowded border? It's a bigger problem than you think! What border crossing is this?

When everyone gawked at the line of climbers waiting to summit Mount Everest, it was more than just a bunch of people checking off an item on their bucket lists. Everest is a border crossing between Nepal and China.

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This border crossing is well away from the edge of the country, but it's very busy. What is it?

Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport is an iconic airport, as France was one of the places where aviation was born. Named for the former French president, Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport is second only to Heathrow in terms of busy European airports.

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Normal, huh? The unremarkable place seen here is a unique border crossing. What is it?

Northwest Angle is one of the tiny bits of America isolated in Canada. The two ways to get there from the rest of Minnesota are to take a boat there, or to drive out of the U.S. into Canada, and back into the the U.S.

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The glorious location seen here is where one can make the most picturesque crossing possible between these two countries. Where is this?

The Hua Hum Pass is high in the Andes mountains, where one can go from Chile to Argentina, or vice versa. Not for the faint of heart, literally, this means going to a very high altitude, meaning altitude sickness is possible. In addition to driving, one must load one's vehicle onto a car ferry to cross Pirehueico Lake.

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Industrial and very busy, this is a remarkable border checkpoint. Which one is it?

Gongbei Port is the busiest land border checkpoint in the world, where China meets Macao. Less glamorous than an airport, it still has plenty of shopping, if you're stuck there waiting for a bus to show up.

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Among the busiest border checkpoints of its kind, this one can be seen from very far away. What is its name?

Schiphol Airport is the major airport serving the Dutch city of Amsterdam. Located in Holland, it is, of course, visible from far away by air because the nation is flat. If one is on the ground, its location is still apparent because of the approaching and departing aircraft.

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The border checkpoint you see here is surrounded by striking natural beauty. Where is it?

The White Cliffs of Dover tower over the Port of Dover, and have done so for thousands of years, though the location of the Port of Dover hasn't always been a port. It was the Romans who turned Dover into a port, and it has remained one to this very day.

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The road at this border crossing looks like spaghetti draped across a mountainside. Where is this?

The Splügen Pass is one of the most beautiful mountain passes in Europe, leading from Switzerland to Italy on a route once prized by the Romans. Marked by a severe switchback, this pass was considered dangerous until the more recent roads were built.

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Concrete, industrial and uninspiring. Which border crossing do you think this is?

When it comes to passengers, PortMiami is the largest in the world. Located in Miami, this port on the Gulf of Mexico handles cargo and massive cruise ships.

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This brand new airport is already one of the busiest in the world! Where is it?

Serving passengers traveling to the largest city in Turkey, Istanbul Airport is the replacement for Istanbul Atatürk Airport, which is now more focused on cargo. Opened in 2018, Istanbul Airport was built separately from Istanbul Atatürk Airport because there was no more room for runways at the latter airport.

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A smaller border crossing focused on private flights, what's the name of this border crossing?

It's no surprise that major international airports are border crossings, but not all international airports are major. Focused on private flights and "general aviation," Amiens–Glisy Aerodrome was a major target of allied bombing in WWII, as it was used by the Germans at the time.

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