Traveling and the International Date Line

The International Date Line is located on the 180 degree longitude line and is exactly opposite from the Prime Meridian line. This imaginary line stretches around the world, and the date changes along the line. When an individual crosses the line from the east, they lose 24 hours, and if they cross it going west, they add a day to their travels.

The International Date Line at Wikipedia offers a history of the date line, while International Date Line for Kids has resources for children on how the date line works. General information on the date line can be found here and more in depth history can be found by visiting A History of the International Date Line . International Date Line at About lists general information on the date line and how it impacts time. Easy to follow and understand information is located at International Date Line.

Traveling across the International Date Line can result in problems, especially problems in terms of scheduling. For example, even a short trip from one island group to another may take only a few hours. When the traveler arrives though, they learn that it’s actually the day after they left-or the day before they left-depending on how they traveled. Travelers have to learn how to schedule their trips and appointments on the correct date. An international cell phone can come in handy when traveling to different parts of the world. The exact dimensions of the date line are laid out at The International Date Line , with International Date Line at World Atlas showing where the line crosses the globe.

Experts recommend adding one hour for every 15 degrees crossed when traveling from west to east. They recommend subtracting one hour when traveling east to west. If you plan on crossing the International Date Line completely, you need to add 24 hours, or subtract 24 hours, depending on the way you cross the line, either west or east. An exact look at how time changes according to the date line is found at Time Measurements. Time Zones and the International Date Line and The International Dateline offer information on how it works.

Problems with the International Date Line have appeared in the past, both in fictional and historical accounts. A true account involves Magellan. In his travels, he kept careful records detailing the days of the week. Yet, when they arrived back in Spain, he and his crew were surprised to learn that the date was different than what they had down on paper. Jules Verne also wrote about the mixing up of days in Around the World in Eighty Days. The date line was originally proposed in the 17th century and began appearing on maps during that time period. An 1884 International Meridian Conference declared that the line existed in a theoretical manner and applied only to maritime ships and vehicles. Even today it’s not recognized as an official method of time.

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