Bering Strait

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Coordinates: 66°0′N 169°0′W / 66°N 169°W / 66; -169

The Bering Strait (Russian: Берингов пролив, Beringov proliv), known to natives as Imakpik,[citation needed] is a sea strait between Cape Dezhnev, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia, the easternmost point (169°43' W) of the Asian continent and Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, USA, the westernmost point (168°05' W) of the North American continent, with latitude of about 65° 40' north, slightly south of the polar circle. This is sometimes spelled Behring in older books.

The Bering Strait has been the subject of scientific speculation that humans migrated from Asia to North America across a land bridge at a time when lower ocean levels–perhaps a result of glaciers locking up vast amounts of water–exposed a ridge beneath the ocean. This would have allowed humans to walk from Siberia to Alaska, thus populating North and South America (see History of the Americas).[1]

Contents

Geography and science

The Bering Strait is approximately 53 miles (85 km) wide[clarification needed], with an average depth of 98–160 feet (30–49 m).[2] It connects the Chukchi Sea (part of the Arctic Ocean) to the north with the Bering Sea (part of the Pacific Ocean) to the south. Although the Cossack Semyon Dezhnev passed by the strait in 1648, it is named after Vitus Bering, a Danish explorer who crossed the strait in 1728. Although considered incorrect spelling today the area is often found spelled as "Behring Strait" in some older texts.

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