8Great: Smallest and Shortest


Have you ever asked yourself those questions that only Google could answer? Well, we turned to the query bar and asked a few of our team’s nagging queries. You can imagine the roundtable remarks when we decided to dub this piece “smallest and shortest” of course. You know what they say, what’s said in a meeting, stays in a meeting, and since we’re G-rated here at Adventure Girl, we’ve kept it clean and rounded up “the world’s”…

Shortest Runway in the world:

The Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport is the only “airport” on the Caribbean island of Saba. More of a landing strip, it’s the shortest commercial runway in the world, only 1,299 feet long. Travelers hold your breath as it’s not only short, but also flanked on one side by a small mountain, while cliffs on the other side drop sharply into the sea.

No jet traffic is allowed, because the runway is too short. Only specially trained pilots under strict waivers can land with regional airline propeller aircraft. Only The Netherlands Antilles’ Civil Aviation Authority can approve who and what types of planes can land there.

World’s Shortest Commercial flight:

It takes just 47 seconds for the world’s shortest commercial flight between the two Orkney Islands, Westray and Papa Westray, just north of Scotland. The distance is only 1.7 miles between the isles. Loganair has been operating the route since the 1960’s, and notes that the “official” flight duration of two minutes. If weather conditions are ideal, and the wind is on their side, they can complete flights in 47 seconds.

So, how much could tickets possibly run a traveler? Thirty dollars per passenger. Oh, and “btw” there’s no in-flight service.

Smallest country in the World:

Vatican City is just 0.2 square miles, making it the world’s smallest state. Its population hovers around 770, none of whom are permanent residents. This itsy-bitsy country surrounds St. Peter’s Basilica, which is where the Pope hosts various spiritual events for Roman Catholics, who pilgrimage there throughout the year to hear him give mass to the public.

Smallest City in the world:

Well, that would be Vatican City, again. Not only is it the smallest country around, it’s also the smallest city. It operates like any municipality does, and even has a post office. Many people come from around the world just to visit and send a postcard, so their note is stamped “Vatican City” on the postmark.

Smallest Island with a building on it:

Just a few miles west of the Isles of Scilly in Cornwall, is Bishop Rock, a small rocky ledge protruding out of the sea. The lighthouse that sits atop the rocks is what makes Bishop Rock the world’s smallest island with a building on it (recognized by the Guinness Book of Records).

Smallest Polynesian Island:

The Republic of Nauru, aka Nauru, aka formerly Pleasant Island, is a South Pacific country in Micronesia. It’s also an island, with 9,378 residents in a 21-square by 8.1 sq mile area. Nauru is the smallest isle in the South Pacific and the world. Just after Vatican City, it’s the smallest country in the world. It originally survived on mining its rich metals, then became a place for money laundering and offshore banking, that is until it accepted aid from the Australian Government, in the late 2000’s to host the Nauru detention center.

Smallest inhabited island in the world:

There’s a reason to call it Room Enough Island. Because there is just enough room on this spec of an isle for an adorable little cottage (built by the Sizeland family in the 1950s as a weekend getaway), and a tree, which gives it “island status.”
Just Room Enough is part of the archipelago of 1,864 islands, called 1,000 Islands, which straddles the Canada-U.S. border in the Saint Lawrence River as it emerges from the northeast corner of Lake Ontario.

Smallest Town (s) in America:

There’s a tie between two smallest towns in the USA.

Monowi, Nebraska used to have a population of two. The husband and wife team, Elsie and Rudy Eiler. That is until Rudy passed on in 2004, leaving Elsie as the remaining resident of Monowi.

She’s also the town’s bartender, librarian, and the mayor. Being a city official means she needs to address each year’s town budget, so she raises taxes to keep her lights on. She garnered her tavern’s liquor license from herself– after all, being mayor affords you those kinds of perks, and she funds her lifestyle by selling hamburgers and beers to customers, who frequent her tavern from nearby towns.

Go Elsie!

The town known as Buford in Wyoming was formed as a military outpost in 1866 to protect railroad workers, and named after Civil War General John Buford.

It used to boast two-thousand residents, but now is home to just one, a former Los Angeles local, Don Sammons, who ditched the big city lights with his wife and son to buy this tiny town in 1980.

His son moved away, and he lost his wife some 15 years back, and albeit the sole person in his town, he’s quiet happy for his gas station and convenience store, which keeps him busy with more than one-hundred customers a day.

Hmm. Two sole survivors with their own towns, both widowed, both entrepreneurs. Are you thinking what we’re thinking? Elsie meet Don. Don meet Elsie. Let us know what happens.