A TikTok user went viral after explaining how the time difference between two islands is 21 hours even though they are only 3 miles apart.
The Diomede Islands are separated by the International Date Line that runs across the Pacific Ocean and marks the boundaries between a calendar day and the next.
This means Big Diomede Island is roughly a day ahead of its neighbor Little Diomede despite sitting side by side in the Bering Strait between mainland Alaska and Siberia.
Big Diomede is on the Russian side while Little Diomede is on the American side.
The ice bridge that forms between the two islands in winter allows a short distance between them and travel in time, although it is illegal.
This also means that it is theoretically possible to walk from Russia to the United States and the trip can also be made by sailboat, kayak, or swimming.
The startling truth was highlighted in a TikTok video that shows some unusual places on Earth.
In the clip, a voiceover says: “There are some strange places in the world. These are the Diomede Islands.
“They sit on the date line. They have a time difference of 20 hours even though they’re only 2.5 miles apart.”
One joked, “Imagine you work on both islands. You can work two eight-hour shifts on the same day.”
Another guy said, “You could be on one island this New Year and go back for a year.”
Another replied, “Double NYE, Imagine a Hangover.”
The islands are named after the Greek Saint Diomede. It was discovered by Russian Danish navigator Vitus Bering on August 16, 1728.
The day marks the memorial of Saint Diomede in the Russian Orthodox Church.
The indigenous people still live in Little Diomede which has a population of about 110 people.
In Diomede the Great, the Soviet government transferred its indigenous population to mainland Russia and the island was inhabited only by military units.
Those living on the Russian side were forcibly resettled in Siberia after the outbreak of the Cold War more than 70 years ago and the borders closed.