Why do flights from China to the United States take a detour when they directly cross the Pacific Ocean, saving time and distance?

There is a theorem in mathematics that the line between two points is the shortest. This theorem is widely used in our life, such as the establishment of water intake station between two villages. But guys, you know what? This principle doesn’t apply to airplanes.


In the 21st century, air travel has become a choice for many people. Generally speaking, in order to save flight costs, airlines will undoubtedly choose the nearest route between the two places. According to the principle of the shortest straight line between the two points mentioned by Xiao Bian, if you want to fly from China to the United States, the route crosses the Pacific Ocean, it seems that such a journey is the shortest. But what is the truth? Why should airlines make a detour from the Bering Strait to the United States?

In fact, it has been our human brain cognitive error that deceived ourselves. We really have the shortest line between two points, but the map we usually see is flat, that is, two-dimensional space. But the earth is not a piece of paper. It is a sphere like an oval. If we only rely on the judgment on two-dimensional plane and then turn to three-dimensional space, the route chosen by the result is not the shortest.


In addition, those who have learned about geography should know that in order to accurately determine the position and direction on the earth, we fictitious the longitude and latitude. The longitude indicates the north-south direction, and the latitude indicates the east-west direction. The line perpendicular to the longitude is called the weft. Weft is a circle of different lengths. The equator is the longest latitude, decreasing from the equator to the poles.


Therefore, when the plane chooses latitude flight, our route is the shortest. As a result, our flights from China to the United States have to pass through the Bering Strait.

The reason is so simple. Are you surprised? I believe we have learned a lot from this. Welcome to comment and leave a message to express your views and questions, like can pay attention to a wave of Oh!

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