Our planet and the way we tell time are fascinating topics. However knowledgeable you may be about the time zone you’re living in, it would be no wonder if you began asking yourself: “Where is the last time zone on Earth?”
The last time zone for any given period of time to exist is on Howland and Baker Islands, and is designated by the term “Anywhere on Earth” or “AoE.” When a time period passes in any other time zone, it is possible that it has not passed in others until it passes on Howland and Baker Islands.
In this article, we will cover how to understand the time zones, where the last time zone on Earth is, and even answer a few of the web’s most frequently-asked questions when it comes to this fascinating time-related topic! Let’s get started.
What is a Time Zone?
In order to answer the question “where is the last time zone on Earth?” accurately, it is important to first understand exactly how time zones work. A time zone is a place on our planet which has been assigned a time of day for civil purposes so that businesses and lives can have a way to tell time by the same standard.
However, time zones are actually determined based on the place they are located relative to the one, universal time standard. According to Time and Date.com, this is called “Coordinated Universal Time,” otherwise known as “UTC.”
The UTC, itself, is based on the time of day based on the sun’s location as it moves east and west along a longitude that starts in Greenwich, London, of the United Kingdom.
Therefore, the farther away a time zone is from that longitudinal calculation of the Coordinated Universal Time, the more hours’ difference there will be between them. This is why Pacific Daylight time is defined as being 7 hours behind the Coordinated Universal Time, for example.
This is why it is possible for it to be 8:30PM in London, but only 3:30PM in the southeastern United States simultaneously: because the two are so far apart in location, the dinner time period has passed in London while it has not yet arrived in parts of the U.S.
With that being said, all time periods must end eventually. For example, it may still be January 1st in some countries, but January 1st may have finished in others. When has January 1st completely passed all over the world?
Now that we understand exactly how location factors into time zones, we can answer this question.
Where is the Last Time Zone on Earth?
The last time zone on earth is named “Anywhere on Earth.” It is a time zone which only exists in one of Earth’s grand total of 38 time zones. It has the largest gap in hours between its time and the time designated as Coordinated Universal Time: it is 12 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time.
Therefore, the “Anywhere on Earth” time zone is the last “place” where a date, hour, minute, or second can exist before passing. This is actually used in a lot of civil proceedings. For example, during a voting period, the end of that period might be designated as “AoE—8:00pm.” What this means is that the ballots may be open even after 8:00pm has passed in London, because in other parts of the world, 8:00 pm has still not passed. However, once 8:00PM has passed in the AoE time zone, the ballots are closed everywhere on the planet because it is no longer possible for it to be 8:00 PM “Anywhere on Earth!”
You may be wondering: does anyone live in the last time zone on earth? Well, actually, the only land masses in the Anywhere on Earth time zone are the Baker and Howland Islands. Let’s find out more about these unique locations below.
What are Howland and Baker Islands?
Baker Island and Howland Island are both ring-shaped islands which circle a lagoon each in the Equatorial Pacific. They are very near to one another and belong to the United States. Both Howland Island and Baker Island are actually used as wildlife refuges! In terms of politics, Howland and Baker Island are part of the Minor Outlying Islands and Phoenix Islands.
The organization responsible for looking after the Howland and Baker Islands is called “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.” They are also part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument since their inclusion by President George W. Bush in 2009. Both islands’ zones are protected by the United States Coast Guard!
Another interesting fact to note about the Howland and Baker Islands is that it was these that famed pilot Amelia Earheart was trying to fly to when she disappeared in the year 1937.
However, perhaps the most intriguing fact about Howland and Baker Islands is that they are the last place in the world for any given deadline to pass, because they are the only landmasses on Planet Earth which exist in the “Anywhere on Earth” time zone!
Currently, both Howland and Baker Island are completely uninhabited, home only to volcanoes, coral, and some of the oldest sea beds on the planet.
To sum everything up, the last time zone on Earth is called “Anywhere on Earth,” 12 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time, and home to Howland and Baker Islands. “Anywhere on Earth” is the last place on the planet when a deadline or date can occur; after it passes there, it no longer exists!
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s take a look at some of the web’s more frequently asked questions on this issue below:
What country is the furthest behind in time?
Technically, since the United States has control of Baker Island in the time zone farthest away from UTC, the United States could be called the country that is furthest behind in time. With that being said, nobody lives on Baker or Howland Islands.
Therefore, the inhabited time zone that is farthest behind is Niue Time and Samoa Standard Time, both of which are 11 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time.
What Country Has the Last Time of day?
The very last countries that are inhabited to have a “time of day” are American Samoa and Niue.