Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why Are The States So Oddly Shaped?

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – There are many reasons why the layout of the United States is so funky looking.

That’s what Mark Stein uncovers in his book, How The States Got Their Shapes (HarperCollins), a guide about the oddities of our state lines and how they got to be that way.

Stein – who grew up in uniquely-shaped Maryland and has been curious about states’ shapes since – says every state in the American jigsaw puzzle represents years of struggles and disputes over land.

He says some land negotiations led to states getting the short end of the stick, such as Idaho, which “got a hunk taken out by Montana,” and Utah, which was always getting its land swiped by Nevada.

Stein says the most bizarre border lies between New York and New Jersey, which are separated by two boundaries, one below water and one above water.

The wishy-washy negotiation took decades to resolve and resulted in Ellis Island being declared part of both states, simultaneously.

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