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Isthmus

From Academic Kids

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An isthmus is a narrow strip of land, bordered on two sides by water, and connects two larger land masses. The term is pronounced "ISS-mus" with a silent "th". The plural form can either be isthmuses or isthmi. A land bridge may be an isthmus.

The most famous isthmus is the Isthmus of Panama, which connects North America and South America. Other isthmuses include:

Isthmuses are logical places to build canals. The Panama Canal, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, drastically reduces the naval travel time between the east and west coasts of the Americas. The previously mentioned Suez Canal is another example — it allows ship transportation between Europe and Asia without the circumnavigation of Africa.

Isthmuses are the inverse of straits. That is, while isthmuses lie between two bodies of water and joins two larger land masses, straits lie between two land masses and connects two larger bodies of water.

The Japanese created a negative isthmus, of sorts, on the Tsushima Islands (Archipelago), by permanently dividing two islands joined by an isthmus by a 2 [km] wide channel. Between 1895 and 1904, the Japanese navy blasted a ship channel (between one or two kilometers wide), through an isthmus of the single island between Aso Bay from the west, and Tsushima Strait on the east, permanently dividing the island into two islands. These have since been named Kamino-shima and Shimono-shima.

See also: geography, Mainlandde:Isthmus es:Istmo fr:Isthme he:מצר יבשה it:Istmo nl:Landengte pl:Przesmyk

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