Is Colorado a Square State?

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In reply to by Rafael (not verified)

Hi Rafael, and thank you for your comment! When the number of sides gets that high, it's possible we'll never know the exact number, but it's a lot! Because the enabling acts creating both Wyoming and Colorado were based on specific longitude and latitude lines, the northern boundaries of BOTH states are actually shorter than their southern boundaries, since northern lines of longitude slowly merge as you get closer to the geographic North Pole. It was easy to draw the territorial boundaries in Washington, DC -- not as easy for the surveyors on the ground trying to follow those lines while running into all the canyons and mountains.

Does the southern boundary pass through Raton Pass by coincidence or was that planned?

Quite the coincidence! The 37th parallel is actually slightly north of the surveyed line, and the surveyed line is slightly north of the high point of pass. That said, they're all very close together. If the surveyors intentionally laid down the boundary below the 37th parallel to get it closer to the high point, they kept that subversion to themselves.

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