Isthmus vs. Peninsula

Isthmus vs. Peninsula

Isthmus and peninsula are two geography terms that refer to different types of landforms. They are similar, and these two landforms are often confused. Below is a brief explanation of the differences between an isthmus and a peninsula, with examples.

An isthmus is a narrow strip of land that joins two larger bodies of land. Sometimes an isthmus is referred to as a "land bridge." Because an isthmus is often the easiest way to move from one "sea" or body of water to another between two larger land masses, it is often strategically and politically important. There are canals that have been built across many isthmuses so ships can move from one ocean to another.

Examples of an Isthmus:

1. Panama, in Central America, is an isthmus. It is the narrow strip of land that connects North and Central America to South America.

2. The Isthmus of Suez is the only connection between Africa and Asia.

A peninsula is a piece of land that is surrounded on three sides by water. So, like an isthmus, it is a narrow strip of land, but instead of joining two larger landforms, it is just attached to one larger landform and juts out into a body of water.

Examples of Peninsulas:

1. The state of Florida is a peninsula. It is part of North America, but it is surrounded on three sides by water-the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

2. A large peninsula, the Malay Peninsula, juts off of south Asia, and includes the countries of Malaysia, part of Thailand and part of Myanmar.

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