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  • What is the maximum number of countries meeting at a single point on earth?

  • Where is it?

  • What are the countries?

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How precisely should we interpret "single point" for the purposes of this question? If you can see one from another would it count? I have no idea if there are borders so close to each other or not. I do know at map scale there are borders which seem to be this close in the states of Australia but are not so if you zoom in. –  hippietrail Sep 14 '12 at 14:50
    
@hippietrail I don't know what other senses you have in mind, but I mean the mathematical sense. No spread. –  sawa Sep 14 '12 at 15:00
    
Well the "quadripoint" comments here seem to bring up exactly the kind of situation I had in mind so one way or another both interpretations are covered. –  hippietrail Sep 14 '12 at 15:02
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"Imprecise quadripoint" on Google Maps: maps.google.com.au/… –  hippietrail Sep 14 '12 at 15:06
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@hippietrail - as per the answers, that's 2 tripoints, not a quadripoint - a few hundred feet between ;) See the wiki links about it. –  Mark Mayo Sep 14 '12 at 16:36
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4 Answers 4

up vote 20 down vote accepted

At different times in history, there has been suggested that a Quadripoint - or meeting of four countries, existed in Africa - between Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia. However this is generally now not believed to be true, with instead two tripoints quite close to each other marked.

Instead, the most is three, known as a tripoint. Amazingly, there are 157 (at least) tricountry points around the world.

Well known international tripoints include:

  • the Treriksröset tripoint of Finland, Norway and Sweden (the exact point is in a lake, but a marker is built on that point)
  • the Vaalserberg of the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium
  • the "Dreiländereck" of Germany, France and Switzerland (the exact point is in the river and the monument is not on the exact point)
  • the Triple Frontier of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay (Yay, I've been to this one!)
  • the Tres Fronteras of Brazil, Peru and Colombia
  • the Mont Dolent of Italy, France and Switzerland
  • the historic Three Emperors' Corner of Austro–Hungarian, Russian and German Empires
  • the historic Piz da las Trais Linguas (Ortler Alps) of Austria–Hungary, the Kingdom of Italy and Switzerland
  • the historic Rock of the Three Kingdoms between the former kingdoms of Galicia, León and Portugal (nowadays part of the border between Kingdom of Spain and the Portuguese Republic).
  • the Tossal dels Tres Reis ('Peak of the Three Kings'), located where the borders of the ancient Kingdoms of Valencia, Catalonia and Aragon meet

For a full list of all three-country tripoints, there's a convenient Wikipedia article on that too.

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I would like to visit some of them too. –  sawa Sep 14 '12 at 7:06
    
I'd love to go to Iguazu. Almost went but the thought of the bus ride from Rio was too much. –  slackwear Sep 14 '12 at 13:31
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EDIT: The 4 countries do not actually form a quadripoint (as Mark pointed out).

Apparently the answer is 3 countries, even though there used to be a quadripoint: two tripoints that are now very close where Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe meet at approximately the same place, in Kazungula.

But there are a lot more of tripoints.

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To some extent, this depends how you define a "country".

For one definition of country, the maximum countries that meet at a single point is 7.

The countries that meet at this single point are :

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Chile
  • France
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • United Kingdom

The point where they all meet? Latitude 90 degrees South - otherwise known as the South Pole! All of the countries have territorial claims to pie-shapes pieces of Antarctica, meeting at (or at least, near) the south pole as a part of the Antarctic Treaty.

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Interesting point, but note that this is a claim, and is not necesarrily accepted by everyone. There may be controversy. –  sawa Sep 14 '12 at 17:33
    
Well as the OP wasn't specific to this degree it's a good thing for answers to cover all interpretations. Especially in cases that many people wouldn't think of. (It's pretty similar to the case of which city has the highest population in some ways actually.) –  hippietrail Sep 15 '12 at 13:08
    
Are tourists (ie someone who doesn't do week long hikes) able to get to the south pole? –  Andrew Grimm Sep 17 '12 at 0:34
    
@AndrewGrimm: Able to go to the south pole? Certainly, for a high enough price (as in, millions of US dollars) you'll find someone who will have the equipment to try and bring you there. But it's still not advisable to try and you will certainly piss off a very large number of people if you do - not because there is anything they want to hide or preserve there, but because they are the ones who'll have to risk their lives if something happens to your expedition. For a private expedition, chances are rather high that some calamity will happen ... –  Martin Sojka Sep 17 '12 at 12:09
    
@AndrewGrimm - I believe you're looking for this: 100 Years Since South Pole Expedition - How to reach it as a tourist? –  Mark Mayo Sep 17 '12 at 16:29
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I'm not sure how subterranean borders work, but if a country includes the land underground, then every border of every country meets at a point a the center of the Earth.

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