Are there any countries that are made up of mostly water?



  1. 0 Votes

    No, because countries are based on land area. That includes lakes and rivers that are inside the land, but not the ocean outside the land. 

    This concept is more slipperly than you might think. It’s sort of a case of “everybody knows what it means”. There’s a useful definition, but not necessarily an accurate one. Consider tides, for example. If there’s a stretch of land that is only exposed at very low tide, is it a part of the country’s landmass? What about large, almost enclosed bodies of water; nobody’s going to consider the Gulf of Mexico part of the United States, but what about the waterway to the Great Lakes? What about the Great Lakes, themselves? Whether a piece of land can have buildings is an important measure, yet some countries allow building in wetlands, and others do not. So the definition of “land” might change at the border, so to speak!

    Finally, if you really want to wrap your thinking around something perplexing, consider that how big a country is depends on … how big the ruler you use is! You can see this easily enough. Take three rulers: A tape measure, or a sewing tape, then a yard stick, then a foot long ruler. Now measure your car from the front bumper, over the roof, to the back bumper. No pushing in the tape measure in to fill the gap in the windshield. With the other two rulers, just lay them end-to-end, working from front to back. What you’ll notice is the dips throw off what seems like a “fair” measurement. That’s exactly the dilemma facing people who estimate the length of a country’s coastline. You have to choose some measurement, but no matter how small the ruler, you’ll always be missing something.

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