What’s the Longest Drivable Distance on Earth?

What’s the Longest Drivable Distance on Earth?

October 12, 2019 100 By Kailee Schamberger


This premiere episode of Half as Interesting
was made possible by Skillshare. The first 200 people to sign up with the link
in the description can learn for free for two months. So here’s the question: what’s the single
longest drivable distance between two points on earth, but before you tell me to go drive
around a roundabout infinite times, let me place this caveat: this route has to be the
shortest one between two points on earth. Ok, so there are basically four distinct major
road systems on earth the biggest one being this one, the Eur… EurAf… Eurafrasian one? The one spanning Europe, Asia, and Africa. These three continents are all connected by
land so it makes sense that they’re all connected by road, right? Wrong, because I lied. It’s impossible to cross from Africa to
Asia fully on land because of this—the Suez canal. This is the canal that makes the trip from
Europe to Asia by boat this instead of this. The only physical connection between the two
continents is therefore the three bridges spanning the canal, but the road system is
still contiguous so it still counts as one big road system. Speaking of big things, the 6th largest country
in the world and 1st smallest continent, Australia, has its own major road system but there’s
not much to say about it other than if you go a little bit this way you get to America—both
of them. Much like Africa and Asia, the Americas technically
are not connected because of a man-made canal—the Panama canal. But that’s not a problem because there are
multiple bridges spanning the narrow waterway. The problem is this—the Darien gap. Not a single road crosses this desolate swampland
spanning over the Panama-Columbia border. The area is overrun with para-military forces
and drug-lords. There’s just not enough demand to make braving
the marshy and dangerous area to build a road worth it. So that’s why North America and South America
have two completely separate, unconnected road systems. So, where could our longest route start? Basically, here, here, here, here, or here. The North American road system goes as far
north as Prudhoe Bay in Canada’s Canada, Alaska, and as far south as Yaviza in Panama
but this only clocks in 7,500 miles. That is six straight days of driving, but
it’s not even close to the longest route. In fact, quite understandably, North America,
South America, and Australia all don’t have any of the longest routes. Now, common logic would suggest that the longest
continuous route would go between somewhere in Southern Africa to somewhere else is eastern
Russia, but common logic is wrong. There are a few issues. First, almost every direct route heading up
the African continent routes via the west side of the continent which brings a traveller
to here: Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Just across the river from Kinshasa is Brazzaville
in the Republic of the Congo but no bridge spans between the two country capitals. The fastest routes between Southern Africa
and Asia also almost always route through Western Europe rather than the Middle East
since the highways are better developed and faster, but this means that a traveller has
to cross the Mediterranean by ferry which disqualifies this route. So we have to originate in Europe. In Europe, the most extreme point on the contiguous
road network is Sagres, Portugal and then you can drive as far east as the banks of
the Aldan River in Russia. That’s 8,437 total miles, but that’s still
not quite the farthest you can drive. It’s a even longer distance to drive here—Khasan,
Russia. Khasan is the only Russian town to border
North Korea and it is also the most extreme point of their road system. With no ferries and only two customs checkpoints
thanks to the European Union, you can therefore drive continuously for 8,726 miles in 6 days
and 19 hours from Sagres, Portugal to Khasan, Russia, and that is the longest continuous,
direct driving route in the world. If you do decide to drive this route, I suggest
signing up for Skillshare because they let you learn no matter where you are. The good news is that their classes will last
you the entire drive since they have over 16,000 of them and you can download them offline
with the iOS and Android apps. A lot of people ask me all the time how to
get started with making youtube videos and the first step is to learn how to edit. For that I recommend their “Visual Storytelling
with Final Cut Pro X” class which gives you a great starting point. You can get two free months of learning to
check out their thousands of courses by being one of the first 200 people to sign up over
at skl.sh/hai. They made the start of this series possible
so please show them your appreciation by at least going and checking them out over at
the link below.