Tripoint

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For other meanings, see tripoint (disambiguation).
A disputed tripoint between Syria-Israel and Jordan

A tripoint, trijunction,[1] triple point or tri-border area is a geographical point at which the borders of three countries or subnational entities meet.

There are approximately 176 international tripoints.[2] Nearly half are situated in rivers, lakes or seas. When on dry land, the exact tripoints are usually indicated by markers or pillars, and occasionally by larger monuments.

Usually, the more neighbours a country has, the more international tripoints that country has. China with 16 tripoints and Russia with 11 to 14 lead the list of states by number of tripoints. Within Europe, landlocked Austria has nine tripoints, among them two with Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Island countries such as Japan have no tricountry points (some, like Bahrain and Singapore, have tripoints in the territorial waters), nor have states with only one neighbour state, like Portugal or Denmark. Likewise the United States with two neighbour states has no tricountry points; it has a number of tristate points as well as one point where four states meet. Canada, as well, has a four point area, where Nunavut, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories meet.

Border junctions (or "multiple points" or "multipoints" as they are also sometimes called) are most commonly threefold. There are also a number of quadripoints, and a handful of fivefold points, as well as probably unique examples of a sixfold, sevenfold, and eightfold point.[citation needed] No more than eight borders meet at a single multipoint anywhere on earth, but the territorial claims of six countries converge at the south pole in a point of elevenfold complexity.

It is often illegal to pass a national border outside border controls, and therefore illegal to walk around many tripoint markers. According to the Schengen rules, it is illegal to pass the outside border of the Schengen area except at border controls.[3] But it is legal to pass the border between two Schengen countries at any place. Countries with good relations will generally have the checkpoints a bit off the technical border line to allow tourists to walk around border marker monuments without getting in the way of immigration authorities.

Examples[edit]

Well known international tripoints include:

Some historic tripoints:

For a full list, see list of tripoints.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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