Suppose you wanted to travel from the United States to the African continent in the shortest trip possible. It’s no geography secret – cross the Atlantic Ocean from the United States, and you can end up in Africa. However, knowing which state to embark from isn’t so simple. What path from the US to Africa would be the quickest? To figure that, we need to know the closest US state to Africa. Think you know what state is closest? Caution – the answer may not be what you think!
Tackling the Fiction
There first state people often think of as being closest to Africa is Florida, and this is not an entirely unreasonable assumption. Jutting out into the Atlantic, Florida is the most southeastern state, afterall. And Singer Island in Florida is just over 4,000 miles from a small village in Western Sahara. However, this is still about 1,000 miles off from being closest.
Next, many people would guess North Carolina. North Carolina bends out into the ocean, with Cape Hatteras being the point farther east. Take a look at a map though. While Cape Hatteras is closer to Africa than Singer Island, North Carolina actually isn’t as far east as many people believe. There are closer states still!
If you’re next guess is Massachusetts, then you are getting warmer, but still not quite there. Located 3,332 miles from El Beddouza, Morocco, Cape Cod in Massachusetts is closer to Africa than Cape Hatteras, but alas, it is still not the closest.
So What is the Closest US State to Africa?
Would you believe Maine?
Yes, geographically speaking, Maine wins the designation of closest US state to Africa. A small peninsula off the coast of Maine, known as Quoddy Head, is a mere 3,154 miles from El Beddouza. Check out a map, and you’ll see that Maine being closest to Africa actually makes more sense than one would think.
So next time you’re planning that trip to Morocco, keep Quoddy Head, Maine, in mind. Especially if you are looking to cut down on travel times!
Mark Heald is an Associate Product Manager and Sporcle Admin. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and bemoaning the fact the Sonics left Seattle.