What Is An Isthmus?\u00a0\r\nThis is a narrow strip of land that connects two larger landmasses on both ends and is typically bordered by water on both sides. It is the land equivalent of a strait, which is a narrow body of water connecting two larger bodies of water.\u00a0\r\nHow Are Isthmuses Formed\u00a0\r\nAn isthmus is typically found in an area where two landmasses (most times continents) otherwise separated by an expanse of water, are joined by a narrow portion. It is commonly formed as a result of volcanic activities. This creates a chain of islands on the water. These islands block the channel from collecting sediments. Over time, the smaller island chains connect forming an isthmus. A drop in the sea level can also aid the formation of an isthmus since more land is now exposed above the water.\u00a0\r\nIsthmus Vs Land Bridge Vs Peninsula\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\nAlthough isthmus and land bridge are similar terms, both have slightly different meanings since the term isthmus is typically used in a more general sense with a much broader meaning. Meanwhile, a land bridge is a type of isthmus that connected the Earth\u2019s major landmasses at some point in the geological history of the planet. It represents an extensive land connection between various continents at different times in history. A land bridge is believed to have played a pivotal role in the migration of people, various animal species, and plants across continents.\u00a0\r\n\r\nOn the other hand, a peninsula is a piece of land almost surrounded by water but is connected to a larger landmass on one side through an isthmus. It can be considered an incompletely formed island since it isn\u2019t entirely surrounded by water and is still connected to a large landmass. The lizard peninsula in England, Monte Argentario in Italy, the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia and the Cape Peninsula in South Africa are some of the most famous peninsulas in the world. Also, the state of Florida in the United States is also a peninsula.\u00a0\r\nIsthmuses Are Known For Their Strategic Locations\r\n\r\n\r\nFor centuries, Isthmuses have been naturally strategic locations. Because of their unique location between continents, they have been the natural desirable spots for the location of canals and seaports. Historically, land bridges made the migration of plant and animal species across continents possible. Today, Isthmuses link aquatic and terrestrial trade routes. They are also important sites for cultural exchanges and communications between continents.\u00a0\r\n\r\nMany isthmuses all over the world are also used as military outposts due to their strategic location. For instance, it will take a cargo ship between 8 to 10 hours to pass across the Isthmus of Panama via the Panama Canal. More than 14,000 ships take this route to cross between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans yearly.\u00a0\r\nThe Isthmus Of Panama\r\nThis is one of the most popular isthmuses in the world. The Isthmus of Panama, located in Panama itself, connects the continents of South and North America. It separates the Atlantic (Caribbean Sea) and Pacific Ocean, which likewise separates both continents.\u00a0\r\n\r\nThe Isthmus of Panama is about 30 miles across at its narrowest point and is believed to have been formed about 3 million years ago. The Panama Canal, which was built in 1914 across the Isthmus of Panama, made it possible for cargo ships to travel for Eastern to Western North America without going around South America and this revolutionized sea transportation and trade around the region in the 20th century.\u00a0\u00a0\r\nThe Isthmus Of Panama And The California Gold Rush\r\n\r\n\r\nDuring the California Gold Rush that occurred between 1848 and 1855, hundreds of thousands of people traveled from all over the United States and the world to California. The Isthmus of Panama played an important role in the rush for the precious metal. Not less than 600,000 people are recorded to have crossed this Isthmus during this period. Most of them sailed to the Atlantic side of the Isthmus then trekked across to the Pacific side.\u00a0\r\nThe Isthmus Of Suez\u00a0\r\nThe Isthmus of Suez links the continents of Asia and Africa. It separates the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. The isthmus and the associated Suez Canal is one of the most famous and important landforms in the world. The 119 miles long Suez Canal makes transportation possible for cargo ships between the continents of Europe, Western Asia, North Africa, and Eastern and Southern Asia without having to navigate around Africa.\u00a0\r\nThe City Of Seattle Is Located On An Isthmus\u00a0\r\nSeattle, Washington is located between Lake Washington and a part of the Pacific known as Puget Sound. It is an isthmus which has been continuously inhabited by people for more than 4000 years. The earliest settlers in the area were the Duabish and Hachuabish people who settled near the ocean and freshwater sides of the isthmus, respectively.\u00a0\r\nA Tombolo is a type of isthmus\r\n\r\n\r\nA tombolo is a thin strip of land or sandbar formed by tides and waves between the mainland and a coastal mainland. The island, in this case, is called a tied island. Mount Maunganui in New Zealand is a famous example of a tombolo. It connects the volcanic Mauao Island to the mainland. Another example\u00a0 is the Rock of Gibraltar, which is an island that is narrowly connected to the Iberian Peninsula of Europe. It is the northern part of the famous Pillars of Hercules which forms a narrow entrance to the Mediterranean Sea on the West.\u00a0\r\nHow Big Is An Isthmus?\u00a0\r\nIsthmus varies dramatically in size. Some extends only\u00a0 a few miles wide, in some cases much more. The Isthmus of Perekop, for instance, is only 3 miles at its narrowest point. It links the Crimean Peninsula to the Ukrainian Mainland. Similarly, the Isthmus of Cape Cod located on the east coast of Massachusetts is only 4.5 miles wide at its narrowest point. Meanwhile, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, which separates the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, is 119 miles wide at its narrowest point.\u00a0\r\nConclusion\u00a0\r\nThere are several\u00a0 isthmuses all over the world. Not only are they strategic locations; isthmuses are also crucial for navigation and trade of different countries around the world.