Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Swimming between continents
July 19, 2010 3:57 AM   Subscribe

It's difficult to swim between most continents. But swimming between Asia and Europe is relatively easy, despite the ordeal of swimming the Mediterranean across the Bosporus, like Leander crossing the Hellespont.
posted by twoleftfeet (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I guess that this is pretty trivial between the continents that touch - you just need to find a river or moderately small bay to cross. The tricky one would be swimming between two continents that don't have a land border - and I'd guess that the Strait or Gibraltar is probably the only doable one - 8 miles from Europe to Africa...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 5:12 AM on July 19, 2010


Not that I could to the half mile they did...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 5:13 AM on July 19, 2010


Once you've done this, you just need to write a poem that can sell 10,000 copies in a day and brush up on your sharpshooting and you can give Byron a run for his money.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:17 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


this is pretty trivial between the continents that touch

Not much of a swimming race there.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:24 AM on July 19, 2010


Based on a bit of boredom and google maps...

You can't swim from North America to South America, because there's no liquid border between Panama and Colombia. Unless you believe the rather convenient suggestion on Wiki that the Panama Canal follows the plate boundary.

I can't work out where the Africa / Asia border is around Egypt, but Djibouti to Yemen is only 20 miles (and people swim the 21 miles across the Channel on a regular basis) - but I'd guess that the sea is a tad more dangerous round there...

None of the others are even vaguely possible, are they?
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 5:34 AM on July 19, 2010


Someone has swum the Bering Strait between North America and Asia :
1987: Chilly swim thaws Cold War relations.

Swimming between North and South America is entirely possibly - swim from Panama to Colombia by sea?
posted by plep at 5:49 AM on July 19, 2010


and I'd guess that the Strait of Gibraltar is probably the only doable one - 8 miles from Europe to Africa...

Interesting stuff. There is a woman who lives in my community that just swam the Strait, and set the US Women's record time and the 3rd fastest time for women overall. Her name is Pat Gallant-Charette, and she's a 59 year old grandmother. This is her blog, including photos of her recent Gibraltar swim.
posted by anastasiav at 5:50 AM on July 19, 2010


Israeli held for swimming into Egypt. I think this counts as swimming from Asia to Africa.
posted by plep at 5:51 AM on July 19, 2010


Sorry

Chilly swim thaws Cold War relations. (US-USSR swim).
Israeli held for swimming into Egypt.
posted by plep at 5:53 AM on July 19, 2010


That's nothing. I can swim from Hong Kong to London if you keep me in a big enough bathtub the whole flight.
posted by TwelveTwo at 6:04 AM on July 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's so amusing that Europe considers itself a separate continent.
posted by serazin at 6:21 AM on July 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you look at Plate boundaries, it is pretty easy to see that India can more justifiably call itself a separate continent than Europe can.
posted by vacapinta at 6:37 AM on July 19, 2010


You all realise that the concept of continents predates by some distance a sophisticated understanding of plate tectonics, right?
posted by vbfg at 7:35 AM on July 19, 2010


Well it was pretty much based on where there were large, distinct land masses, right? Which, not coincidentally, coincides with some of the major plates, right? Anyway, Europe isn't distinct by either standard.
posted by serazin at 7:47 AM on July 19, 2010


I was so sad when Google disabled the "swim across the Atlantic" gag from Google Maps. I remember trying to find the longest possible route you could get. Based on my not great knowledge of Alaskan or interior Russian geography, I think the best I ever got was Fairbanks to Novosibirsk. At least at the time, Google Maps didn't have any routes connecting to Siberia or China from Europe.
posted by kmz at 8:08 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Kayak across the Pacific ocean still works
posted by yeolcoatl at 10:34 AM on July 19, 2010


yeolcoatl: "Kayak across the Pacific ocean still works"

I almost want to submit a bug report to Google about that... kayaking from Hawaii to Australia via Japan? You can just do a straight shot, with less total travel distance and shorter segments stopping off in Micronesia and Papua New Guinea, or through American Somoa/Fiji/various atolls.

It's like jeez, are they afraid people are going to get stuck on the Lost island or something?
posted by Riki tiki at 11:39 AM on July 19, 2010


Well it was pretty much based on where there were large, distinct land masses, right?

I think the idea of Europe came from the Greeks, who noted that those people over there seem to be very different to the types of people over here. Hence Europe, Asia and Asia Minor.
posted by vbfg at 2:18 AM on July 23, 2010


« Older Lasers 4, UAVs 0....  |  Having a barbecue this summer?... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments