Borders define not only us, but who we are. Simple lines on the ground, man-made or geological, in a seemingly meaningless place separates one culture from the next.
The boundaries of countries are often some of the most fought over and safely guarded locations in the world.
Check out our list of the most visually stunning and awe-inspiring international borders below.
16. Haiti and the Dominican Republic
The border between Haiti [left] and the Dominican Republic [right] leaves you with one question, where did all of the trees go? The river drawn boundary separates the countries who have widely varying deforestation laws, leaving Haiti with a near barren landscape and the DR with a much more enticing green oasis.
15. United States and Mexico
U.S. border protection has kept their land on the border of Mexico [right] fairly barren in order to help stop illegal immigration. Regardless, the border between the two countries is one of the most traveled in the world and stretches a little over 3200 km.
14. Afghanistan and Pakistan
As can be seen above, a U.S. Army soldier stands watch outside of Torkham Gate, one of the main border crossings between the recently war-stricken countries.
13. Italy and Switzerland
Along the border of Italy and Switzerland high up in the alps sits a single hut used as a research center for low temperature climates. The unique building can only be reached by foot and was first constructed by the Queen of Italy in 1893. The current structure was remodeled fairly recently and still serves in the development of high altitude scientific studies.
12. Brazil and Bolivia
Here again can be seen two countries with very different regulations in place with regards to deforestation. Brazil [left] has maintained a heavily populous zone up to the edge of the river that separates the country from Bolivia [right].
11. United States and Canada
Stretching nearly 9000 kilometers, the Canadian-American border is the longest international border in the world. Pictured above is the Rainbow Bridge used as a crossing between the two countries. At times, the only thing that differentiates the two geographically large countries is a small clearing through the forest.
10. Egypt and Israel
While simply an imaginary line decided upon in recent history, the border between Egypt [left] and Israel [right] is clearly seen even from space. The above photo was taken by Canadian Astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield aboard the International Space Station. It's incredible to think how much a line can mean for geographical development and land usage.
9. Nepal and China
Mount Everest sits right on the border of Nepal and China making it one of the highest international borders that exists. It is heavily debated which country the summit of the world's tallest mountain lies in, although Google Earth describes the summit as being located in China. You may just have to climb the mountain yourself to find out.
8. Spain and Morocco
Much like the Mexican-American border, Spain erected a long fence in order to keep illegal immigrants traveling through Morocco out of the country.
7. Netherlands and Belgium
What is perhaps the quaintest of borders on the list, the town of Baarle sits just on the line marking the Netherlands [left] from Belgium [right]. Why not enjoy a cup of tea in one country and a pastry in the other?
6. North Korea and South Korea
Located within the de-militarized zone between the two countries, this is possibly one of the most heavily guarded borders on the list. In fact, the two countries are technically still at war, and to this day American troops are stationed on the South Korean side.
5. Australia and The Rest of the World
Unconventional as it may be, the coast of Australia and its three surrounding oceans is technically still a border. The country is home to over 10,000 beaches all with stunning scenery like the shallow cove pictured above.
4. Norway and Sweden
The deforested line marking the border between the two countries of Norway and Sweden makes for a great path for snowmobilers.
3. Argentina and Brazil
The Iguazu Falls vary from 60 to 80 meters high but partially sit along the border of Argentina and Brazil. As can be seen in the bottom right of the above picture, there is even a viewing platform where you can take a closer look at some of the breathtaking sights. This is definitely a location to put on your bucket list.
2. Austria and Slovenia
On a high mountain pass sits two obelisks which serve to mark the rocky border between Austria and Slovenia.
1. Vatican City and Italy
The entrance to St. Peter's Square marks the border between the small city-state of Vatican City and Italy. Home of the Catholic church, this border is one of the most highly visited by tourists and locals.
No two borders are alike, with some separated by a small mark on the ground and others heavily guarded by fences and troops. One thing is for sure though, these man-made lines are some of the most interesting and beautiful places on the plan.