TikTok is freaking out after learning that Maine has a longer coastline than California
How long is Maine’s coastline? Somehow that’s now the question on millions of TikTokers’ minds.
It’s all thanks to a user named @kindagwenish. On May 10, the TikToker shared in a short video featuring a mind-blowing fact — that Maine’s coastline is actually longer than California’s.
As @kindagwenish explains in her clip, the difference comes down to the shape of the two states.
California is the country’s third-largest state, and features a “general coastline” of 840 miles, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Meanwhile, Maine’s general coastline is just 228 miles.
So how is Maine’s coast bigger? The difference, it turns out, lies in the difference between general coastlines and tidal shorelines.
The former refers to the “general outline” of a state’s sea coast, according to the NOAA. Basically, it’s the rough coastline you’d see when looking at a zoomed-out version of a map, with only major bays and islands taken into account.
But tidal shorelines include everything. The NOAA defines the measurement as including “shoreline of outer coast, offshore islands, sounds bays, rivers and creeks … to a point where tidal waters narrow to a width of 100 feet.”
That’s a bit complicated, although thankfully @kindagwenish puts it simply.
“This is what the coast of Maine looks like,” the TikToker says. “She has all these inlets.”
Maine’s coastline was shaped by ice sheets and glaciers thousands of years ago and now features a vast array of barrier islands and intercoastal waterways.
When including those in the measurement, Maine’s tidal shoreline comes in at a whopping 3,478 miles. California’s tidal shoreline is just shorter, at 3,427 miles, because as @kindagwenish puts it, the state’s shape is “smooth like a little koala brain.”
TikTokers were largely baffled by the info.
“Is anyone upset about this?” one user wrote.
“I’m not upset just feel attacked for some reason,” another added.
“No one can compete with Maine,” another wrote.
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