If it changes color, call a dermatologist.

A little piece of Kentucky is contained within Missouri. “The Kentucky Bend” was connected to the rest of the state until the New Madrid Earthquake of 1812 relocated the Mississippi — the enormous quake also caused parts of the river to run backwards and formed Tennessee’s Reelfoot Lake. The Bend is just one of a handful of border irregularities around the country, with some as familiar as Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and some as obscure as the Delaware Wedge. I don’t know what the deal is with the chunk missing out of Virginia just south of Damascus, but I do recall that it delayed my long-awaited passage into Virginia on the Appalachian Trail by about thirty minutes.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

3 replies on “If it changes color, call a dermatologist.”

  1. This brings up some of the knowledge I have as a Land Surveyor. Reliction and accretion are the words used to describe a body of water either adding to or taking away from a body of land.

    The principle exists that any land that broke off and attached itself in another place was now the property of the owner of that property. Likewise, the hole left is now part of the river or body of water.

    I wonder if there was an argument in 1812 about where the Kentucky Bend actually was, Kentucky or Missouri?

    Fascinating stuff. Right up my alley.

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