The word isthmus comes from the Greek isthmos and literally means a narrow passage. It is a geographical accident that consists in the union of two areas through a narrow strip of territory . This narrow piece of land allows two different extensions to keep in contact. In this sense, an isthmus can unite two islands, two continental masses and a peninsula with a continent . In popular language, this geographic feature receives a poetic description , as it is known as the tongue of land. It is also known as the narrow passage.
The isthmus of Panama, Suez and Corinth has strategic geographic value
The isthmus of Panama unites Central and South America and the
Atlantic and Pacific oceans . It formed approximately 13 million years ago. From the standpoint of biodiversity, this narrow strip allowed for an exchange of species. From a historical perspective, it was discovered in 1501, by the Spanish explorer Rodrigo de Bastidas.
The Suez isthmus connects Asia with the African continent, as in the case of Panama, a canal was built in this strip, the Suez Canal. It is an artificial navigation route with more than 160 km in length.
The Corinthian isthmus is a strip of land that joins part of mainland Greece with the Peloponnese peninsula. This geographic accident also has an artificial channel since the end of the 19th century.
In all three cases, this is a territory of great strategic value, as the three channels allow for intense maritime traffic.
Other lesser known isms are that of Bolbs (which connects Gibraltar with the Spanish mainland), that of Tehuantepec in Mexico and that of Carlos Ameghino in Argentina.
Other landforms with some resemblance to the isthmus
The channel is a natural narrow that allows the connection between two places. When we talk about two bodies of water close together, the joining point is known as a strait. The peninsula is a piece of land joined to a continent by one part.
The isthmus in human anatomy
The characteristics of isthmuses are extrapolable to human anatomy . For this reason, in the oral cavity, there are the so-called isthmuses of the fauces. The same is true for the thyroid gland close to the trachea, the thyroid isthmus, and the cerebral isthmus in the brain.