You would think that, when comparing coastlines of US states, it would be quite easy to determine the order of the longest to smallest. When I did a little research, I found that the lengths can vary tremendously, depending on the method of calculation. There are two methods that are often used, but there is not a clear definition of how they were calculated. For example, under one method, Maine is ranked 9th at 228 miles, and under the other it is ranked 4th at 3,478 miles. That is quite the disparity. A recent satellite study estimates that the Maine Coast is actually closer to 5,500 miles. Why the disparity? Two reasons come to mind. First, Maine has approximately 6,200 islands that technically should be counted. Second, Maine has many peninsulas that extend like fat fingers into the Atlantic Ocean.
Why am I interested in this you'd might ask? Well being a fan of lighthouses, I recently found that Maine has around sixty lighthouses, and I thought that it was a lot. Now that I understand the length of Maine's Coast, it seems like a small number.
Anyway, i leave you with this photo of Doubling Point Lighthouse, which sits on the Kennebec River and is considered part of the coastline, even though it is about 10 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.