Did you know that the geographic location where 3 countries meet is called a tripoint? And that there are over 176 international tripoints in the world? Join me at La Frontera in Iguazu, Argentina at the borders of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil as we learn more about tripoints and multipoints around the world. You can also watch and share this video on Facebook and YouTube.
La Frontera in Iguazu, Argentina
Last December when I was visiting Iguazu Falls on my birthday, I looked for other places of interest near the town of Iguazu. One attraction I discovered was La Frontera which is where the borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay come together.
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At first I thought, “Wow what an amazing once in a lifetime opportunity to see three countries while standing in one location!” But then I remembered that I've seen three countries at once before when I was in Israel at the borders of Lebanon and Syria.
I started thinking about all the other places where the borders of three countries intersect and I realized that visiting a tripoint is fun, but it's not a once in a lifetime opportunity. There are actually about 176 international tripoints – half of which are situated in rivers, lakes or seas – because bodies of water have historically made perfect borders.
International Tripoints Around The World
The country with the most tripoints is China with 16. Russia's in second place with 14 tripoints. And in third place is landlocked Austria with 9 tripoints.
On the opposite side of the intersection spectrum, you've got countries like Japan, Malta, New Zealand, and Philippines with zero tripoints. They've got no connecting borders with neighboring countries because, well, they're islands! However you don't have to be an island to have zero tripoints. Non-island countries with only one neighbor state like Portugal and Denmark don't have any tripoints. Likewise, the United States with two neighbor states also has no country tripoints.
At times in history there have even been quadripoints, pentapoints, and hexapoints – but international borders are a blurry topic and these types of multipoints haven't lasted very long because border agreements tend to change.
And while the continent of Antarctica has no official political boundaries, the South Pole is claimed by the nations of Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom which converges into a really complex multipoint where no-one really cares about fighting over the specifics.
So while visiting La Frontera wasn't a once in a lifetime opportunity to see an international tripoint, it was certainly a lovely way to spend an afternoon in Iguazu.
What multipoints have you visited?
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