Border irregularities of the United States

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Border irregularities of the United States, particularly panhandles and highway incursions into other jurisdictions, are shown here. Often they are a result of borders which do not conform to geological features.



There are several exclaves between the United States and Canada, including the entire state of Alaska. Other exclaves include the Northwest Angle, Point Roberts and Akwesasne.


In Texas and Mexico, shifts in the course of the lower Rio Grande have created numerous pene-exclaves. Under the Boundary Treaty of 1970 and earlier treaties, the United States and Mexico have maintained the actual course of the river as the international boundary, but both must approve proposed changes. From 1989 to 2009, there were 128 locations where the river changed course, causing land that had been on one side of the river to then occupy the opposite bank. Until the boundary is officially changed, there are 60 small pene-exclaves of the state of Texas now lying on the southern side of the river, as well as 68 such pene-exclaves of Mexico on the northern side of the river.


The legal status of the US-Russian border is unclear. The United States Senate ratified a treaty setting the boundary with the Soviet Union in 1991. However, shortly after, the Soviet Union collapsed, and the Russian parliament never voted on the treaty.


The boundary between the United States and Cuba is a maritime boundary along the Straits of Florida. Despite tense relations between the counties, the United States operates a military base in Cuba, Guantanamo Bay.

The status of Cubans who illegally cross the Straits into the United States is determined by the wet feet dry feet policy. This means that a Cuban captured on US land may stay in the country, but a Cuban found at sea will be returned to Cuba.


Separated by the Mississippi River or other river changes from the 1812 New Madrid earthquake:

Other irregularities involving the Mississippi River:

Separated by water other than the Mississippi River:

Other irregularities:

Highway irregularity signage in New York
A white on green sign saying "State border". Behind it in the distance is a standard U.S. freeway exit sign.
Sign on Pennsylvania border on NY Route 17
Three signs along a busy freeway. The one at the bottom says "Entering Greenwich Connecticut". The one above it has "Litter Removal" on it. The last one, at the top, is irregularly shaped with the number 684
State border sign on I-684

Highway system irregularities[edit]

Highway exclaves[edit]

Some highways are not connected to the rest of their nominal highway systems:


  1. ^ "Tipton". Tennessee History for Kids. Nashville, Tennessee: Tennessee History for Kids. 2010-01-18. Retrieved 2010-04-20. 
  2. ^ .Whong, Christopher M. (2000-12-11). "The Boundary Disputes of Colonial Maryland". Baltimore, Maryland. Retrieved 2010-04-20.