Coastlines are interesting parts of the world’s geography because they are always changing. The water creeps in and washes parts of them away, only to come back later and deposit sand, shells and dirt. Here is a look at the 10 countries with the most coastline, according to World Atlas.
With an impressive 11,165 miles of coastline, Antarctica comes in at 10 on this list. Three oceans come together to form a border here — the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Collectively they go by the “Southern Ocean.”
The United States
While America is home to fantastic beaches, it is surprisingly far down on the list of longest coastlines. Still, the U.S. can boast 12,380 miles of coastline, which includes those of Hawaii and America’s territories. Of the 50 states that make up this country, a whopping 23 of them have at least a bit of coastline, with some states bordering the Atlantic Ocean and others bordering the Pacific. Alaska touches the Arctic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico creates a coastline in the south.
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Australia has close to 4,000 more miles of coastline than the U.S., with 16,006 miles. This coastline is extremely diverse, with some shores featuring swamps, others cliffs and rock formations, and others nice, sandy beaches. Much of Australia’s population lives on the coast, with many people working in the fishing and/or tourism industries, and the coves, caves and other interesting landscape features bring people from all over the world to visit these areas.
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Japan is next up, with 18,486 miles of coastline. It is east of the Sea of Japan and wedged between the East China Sea in the south and the Sea of Okhotsk in the north. Many people live along the coast and rely on whaling and fishing for their livelihood.
The Philippines take the nest spot with 22,549 miles of coastline. This takes into account the measurements from all of its 7,641 islands. This country is full of bays, gulfs and islets, and 60% of the population lives near or on the shore and engages in commercial fishing as a career.
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With the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Pacific to the east, the Arctic to the north and four different seas to the southwest, Russia has an amazing 23,396 miles of coastline. Many of the country’s most popular and most well-known cities are located on the coast, including Kaliningrad, Yalta, Magadan and St. Petersburg.
Jumping up to more than 27,392 miles of coastline, the next country on our list is Greenland. This chilly country has the Arctic Ocean on one side and the Atlantic on the other, and it is home to some of the largest and most important glaciers in the world. It is also home to whales, hares, foxes, lemmings and polar bears, who all live among the picturesque icebergs, fjords and rocky cliffs.
Indonesia may not be one of the largest countries, but it wins the bronze medal for coastline length with 34,0001 miles of coast. Some of the country’s coast features forests while you’ll find sandy beaches in other spots.
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Another chilly country with a surprising amount of shoreline is Norway. It has just over 36,122 miles of coastline thanks to peninsulas, archipelagos and borders that touch both the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, as well as the Barents Sea. Thousands of visitors come every year to see Norway’s coastal landscape and the northern lights.
With a mind-boggling 125,567 miles of coastline, Canada blows all of the other countries out of the water. While the chilly temps keep many spots from becoming relaxing hotspot, visitors still can’t help but be impressed with the beautiful coastal landscapes here.