Simpsons Map Mystery

On last night's episode of the Simpsons, Sideshow Bob took Bart to "5 Corners" the only place in America where 5 states meet--so that Bob could commit the "perfect crime" in multiple states (his theory was that no individual state would have enough evidence to prosecute him). OK, so we know America has a "4 Corners" where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah meet, but is there any place 5 states meet? The answer is no... so I pose the question... is there any place you can get close? That is, what place in America gets you the closest to being in 5 states at once? I offer 3 candidates: Standing in Boise City, Oklahoma puts you 40 miles or less from Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas. Another candidate is Rutland, MA which puts you about 40 miles or less from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. A third option is New Madrid, Missouri, which gets you about the same distance from Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Illinois. But I haven't yet taken the time to do the actual calculations. What a great project for a social studies class... solve the 5-state mystery! I'll post your answer here! So here is the formal challenge: Bob wants to stand in the place that gets him as close as possible to 5 U.S. states. Where does he stand? And what is the distance to each of the 5 states? ANSWER HERE.

13 comments:

  1. The "5 corners" appears in an older simpsons episode where each simpson stands in a separate state. From the itchy and scratchy land episode. http://www.wtso.net/media/images/604.jpg

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  2. I read on a website once that the five states bordering each other were Kentucky, Ohio, Vermont, Nebraska, and Florida. Sounds about right for the Simpsons.

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  3. I included an incorrect state in my previous post. The five states touching in the Simpsons episode were: Kentucky, Ohio, Vermont, Nevada, and Florida. How silly of me to have included the mid-western state of Nebraska in this five corner convergence! Gotta love the Simpsons.

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  4. My answer is the southwestern portion of Virginia, near Rosedale and south of Honaker. It's 30 miles or less to Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina (as the crow flies, of course). The distances are 23 miles to WV and TN, and just a bit less than 30 to both NC and KY. And, yes, 0 miles to Virginia. Thanks to Google Maps, which gives the coordinates as 36.959851, -81.972828, or close to it.

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  5. The last set of police talk about the shore and skee ball which makes me think of new jersey. So at least one of those states has to be touching water. But then again another set of police men look rather southish. hmmm

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  6. The one thing to remember about the Simpson's is they will give you clues to what state they are in, but when you watch that episode again a second time on a different night (rerun) the clue will be completely different.

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  7. incorrect. the episode where they go over what states border springfield, flanders says springfield is bordered by: ohio, nevada, maine, and kentucky. There's no florida in there.

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  8. and the accents of the cops hint at various places as well, but unfortunately, a lot of the accents are ambiguous...

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  10. It has to be somewhere with Kentuckey, since the Simpsons are in Kentuckey, as was said in the episode "Behind the Laughter", where in the end they said something about the adventures of this "Eastern Kentuckey family", if I'm not mistaken.

    Had to post, the episode with Sideshow Bob and the 5 Points was just on.

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  11. The Simpsons are based on Matt Groener's family, and Springfield is based on his home town of Portland, OR.

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  12. While it may be based upon his home in Oregon the ONLY two spots in the USA where this may be semi-geographically plausible are where Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas which on a map look close to meeting in a 5 corner grouping or and this is a stretch, Tennessee which borders Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama, though none of the "latter's" grouping(s) form together directly to form a "corner" grouping/intersection and are all just bordered by Tennessee. As for the "assumptions" that it is in Oregon, Oregon only has a three corners state grouping of Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Unless Matt was "creating" two "new" states for the 5 state(s) phenominum to work in the Oregon area, there is NO WAY IT IS GEOGRAPHICALLY POSSIBLE TO OCCUR NATURALLY AS THE STATES APPEAR NOW IF USING A NORMAL LAYOUT OF THE USA TO BASE THE SHOW OFF OF!!!

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