What Very Big Country Has a Very Small Coast?

Zaire is a huge country, the eleventh largest on earth. So it’s no surprise that Zaire has one of the longest land borders of any nation, a total of 6,149 miles. That’s not much smaller than the total land border of the United States, 7,453 miles.

But it is a surprise that this large nation has one of the shortest coastlines of any nation that isn’t landlocked. On a map, it might appear that Zaire is indeed landlocked, with no outlet on the ocean.

But Zaire has a narrow strip of land on the north bank of the Congo River that reaches to the Atlantic Ocean. The total length of this Atlantic Ocean coastline is just 23 miles!

Aside from small island nations and the tiny nation of Monaco in Europe, the only non-landlocked nation on earth with a shorter coastline than Zaire is Jordan, which has a 16-mile coastline on the Gulf of Aqaba.