What is the maximum number of countries meeting at a single point on earth?
Where is it?
What are the countries?
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.
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 :
- New Zealand
- 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.
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.
As has been established, while three countries meeting in a single point is geometrically required, there are no points on Earth where four countries meet. The closest you can get is looking for a place where four (or more) distinct international borders come together, meaning that if you walked around the point you would cross four (or more) borders during the 360° (while not necessarily being in four different countries).
Such a point exists at the peak of the Sorgschrofen in the Alps. To its North is the Austrian exclave (technically speaking) of Jungholz. To its South is Austria proper; specifically the province (Bezirk) of Reutte in Tyrol (Außerfern region). To its East and West is Germany; specifically the province of Swabia in Bavaria. The border situation can be seen on Openstreetmap.
While only two countries meet here, if you circle the summit starting in the North you will go through Austria, Germany, a different part of Austria, a different bit of Germany and the first bit of Austria before arriving back at your point of origin.