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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. Sep 14, 2012 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, 2012 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. Sep 14, 2012 at 15:02
  • 2
    "Imprecise quadripoint" on Google Maps: maps.google.com.au/… Sep 14, 2012 at 15:06
  • 1
    @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, 2012 at 16:36

5 Answers 5

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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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  • 1
    I would like to visit some of them too.
    – sawa
    Sep 14, 2012 at 7:06
  • 1
    I'd love to go to Iguazu. Almost went but the thought of the bus ride from Rio was too much.
    – skeevey
    Sep 14, 2012 at 13:31
  • If Wikipedia is to be believed, the four countries in question mutually agreed in the late '00s that there were two tripoints rather than a single quadripoint. This was probably a prerequisite for the construction of the Kazungula Bridge. Feb 17, 2022 at 20:03
  • 2
    Quite frankly, a tripoint necessary as soon as you have more than two countries on a landmass, each of them bordering at least to others. So they aren't all that amazing, thinking about it.
    – Jan
    Feb 18, 2022 at 17:40
  • @Jan It looks to me like tripoints = countries, or disjoint pieces thereof, on a landmass that don't span it - 2. Note that while spanning countries can be large (the US) they don't have to be (Panama.) 157 is not a surprise. Feb 21, 2022 at 1:00
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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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  • 7
    Interesting point, but note that this is a claim, and is not necesarrily accepted by everyone. There may be controversy.
    – sawa
    Sep 14, 2012 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.) Sep 15, 2012 at 13:08
  • Are tourists (ie someone who doesn't do week long hikes) able to get to the south pole?
    – Golden Cuy
    Sep 17, 2012 at 0:34
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    @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 ... Sep 17, 2012 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, 2012 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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  • 9.5 years later, re-reading this, it occurs to me this is true if the Earth is a perfect sphere. So I wonder if it's possible to meet them all like this, or if any get cut off...
    – Mark Mayo
    Feb 18, 2022 at 0:17
  • 1
    If "underground" for a point is defined as the line from that point to the center, then they would indeed meet at the center. But that's a big IF.
    – WGroleau
    Feb 18, 2022 at 5:42
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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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  • There is a point on Kazungula Bridge which is considered as the meeting point of 4 countries. ![4 Countries](i.stack.imgur.com/ZK32n.png)
    – Kamrul
    Feb 11, 2022 at 3:54
  • @Kamrul Namibia does not meet Zimbabwe there. They're still ~150m apart.
    – Mark Mayo
    Feb 11, 2022 at 22:00
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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.

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