Saturday Scenes

Thu 5 January 2012

The Day that Never Happened

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 23:16

The 31st of December 1994 did not occur for a large region in the Pacific Ocean. The date was simply skipped within the eastern islands of the Republic of Kiribati, who were the only nation in the world to be divided by the dateline. On 1 January 1995, they changed timezone and moved the dateline eastwards to go around the island republic. Phoenix Islands went from UTC-11 to UTC+13 and the Line Islands went from UTC-10:00 to UTC+14:00.

The Republic of Kiribati, 32 atolls and one solitary island, is the only country in all four hemispheres. The main island chain in the republic was named Iles Gilbert after the Captain who first sighted them in 1788 whilst sailing from Australia to China. The name Kiribati is based on the local pronunciation of Gilberts.

UTC+14:00 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As a British colony, Kiribati was centered in the Gilbert Islands, just west of the old date line. Upon independence in 1979, the new republic acquired the Phoenix and Line Islands from the United States and the country found itself straddling the date line. Government offices on opposite sides of the line could only communicate by radio or telephone on the four days of the week when both sides experienced weekdays simultaneously.

UTC+14:00 is the highest time zone, meaning the Line Islands are now the first to enter into a new year, which resulted in Caroline Island being renamed Millennium Island. The time of day in the Line Islands is the same as in Hawaii but the date is one day ahead. The time is 26 hours ahead of Baker Island.

However, I’m happy to report that the 31st of December 2011 definitely did happen and you can see photographs from all over the world as proof:

And these are the right-on-time people who took them:

2011 started and ended on a Saturday so there were 53 Saturdays in all. A big congratulations to the people who posted every week!

Join us in 2012.

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