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

Friday, April 25, 2014 - 05:19 PM

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 zig-zaggy, producing a number of problems, a few of which are delightfully described here ...


CGP Grey/YouTube


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Comments [5]

Heidi from Beaver, Oregon

This was a highly entertaining yet educational video. I was impressed my son kept rewinding it to watch. Then I realized her saw the Minecraft Creeper at 1:23. Great job keeping his attention.

May. 15 2014 09:50 PM
Nathan McDonald-Fortier from Quebec

The Canadian spelling for "meter" is in fact "meter" on the other hand the French spelling for meter (which you'll find commonly in quebec) "metre".

May. 03 2014 10:52 AM
Kailer Mullet from Edmonton, AB

The Canadian spelling for "meters" is "metres". You won't be warned again. Don't make us annex Point Roberts.

Apr. 30 2014 01:03 PM
danah from Calgary

US was victorious... At best it was a draw... Or the Niagara Region would be part of the US and many other areas that are part of Canada fought over during the war of 1812.

Apr. 30 2014 11:09 AM
David from the Southwest from Albuquerque, NM

CGP Grey is a fabulous video producer and completely NSFW due to the massive amounts of productivity lost watching his compositions.

Apr. 29 2014 05:15 PM

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