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How Many Time Zones Are There?


Let’s say you’ve got friends from different states. Isn’t it quite challenging to set a meeting considering the different time zones? For others, they are probably used to it. But for those new to the USA, they might find it hard to adapt to the time zones at first. Why? This is because the USA has several time zones. If you live in a new state and work from home, you need to adjust to the place's time zone. And if you are working from home and need to attend a meeting, the planner needs to set a date and time that works well for all the employees. Therefore, it is essential to know the time zones in the country you live in, be it in the USA or other countries.

The 24 Time Zones

The time zones exist because there was a team of scientists in the 1880s who created them. They have studied the Earth's movement, and after considering that half of the planet receives light or dark, they thought of a method that can divide the world into various time zones. These time zones are theoretically drawn in a map, making a total of 24 time zones. Meaning, the world initially has 24 time zones considering that every time zone is one hour apart. However, some countries follow a 30 or 45-minute offset, creating more time zones.

The UTC Offset

If there are more than 24 time zones, it is hard to be updated with time. That’s why you need to identify the time’s starting point. And that would be the meridian that serves as the reference mark for the Coordinated Universal Time with one hour for every 15 degrees longitude. Remember that each region of the Earth has its distance measured east or west. It uses the prime meridian located in Greenwich, London in the UK. 

Some countries are large; therefore, they have several time zones. But there are some exceptions since countries like China and India only follow one time zone. These countries have their reasons why they only follow one national time zone. For example, India needs to coordinate work on the railway network; that’s why they have decided to have one time zone in the colonial era. Currently, China follows the China Standard Time while India follows the India Standard Time.

Which Country Has The Most Time Zones?

Have you ever wondered which country has the most time zones? If you think that Russia had the most time zone because it is the largest country globally, you have to guess another country. Russia has 11 time zones, including the following:

  • Irkutsk time (IRKT) (UTC+8) - covers Buryatia and the Irkutsk Region
  • Kaliningrad time (KALT) (UTC+2) - covers Kaliningrad Region
  • Kamchatka (PETT) (UTC+12) - covers Kamchatka Territory and the Chukotka autonomous area
  • Krasnoyarsk Time (KRAT) (UTC+7) - covers the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Altay, Tyva, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk, and Tomsk regions
  • Magadan Time (MAGT) (UTC+11) - covers eastern Yakutia, Magadan, and Sakhalin regions
  • Moscow time (MSK) (UTC+3) - covers Moscow and Russia’s European part
  • Omsk time (OMST) (UTC+6) - covers Omsk Region
  • Samara time (SAMT) (UTC+4) - covers Astrakhan, Samara, Ulyanovsk, Saratov regions, and the Udmurt Republic
  • Vladivostok Time (VLAT) (UTC+10) - covers central Yakutia and the Maritime (Primorsky) Territory
  • Yakutsk Time (YAKT) (UTC+9) - covers western Yakutia, Transbaikal Territory, and Amur Region
  • Yekaterinburg time (YEKT) (UTC+5) - covers Bashkortostan, the Perm Territory, Kurgan, Orenburg, Sverdlovsk, Tyumen, Chelyabinsk regions, Khanty-Mansi, and the Yamal-Nenets autonomous areas

If Russia is not the country with the most time zones, then which country is it? The answer is France with twelve time zones. Metropolitan France’s official time zone is set as GMT+1. In contrast, the time zones in its international territories fall between UTC-10:00 in most French Polynesia regions to UTC+12:00 in the territories of Wallis and Futuna. For the country’s list of time zones, you may refer to the following:

  • Tahiti Time - French Polynesia
  • Marquesas Time - French Polynesia
  • Gambier Time - French Polynesia
  • Easter Island Standard Time - Clipperton Island
  • Atlantic Standard Time - Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Barthélemy, and Saint Martin
  • French Guiana Time - French Guiana
  • Pierre & Miquelon Standard Time - Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Eastern Africa Time - Mayotte
  • Reunion Time Réunion - French
  • French Southern and Antarctic Time - French Southern Territories
  • New Caledonia Time - New Caledonia
  • Wallis and Futuna Time - Wallis and Futuna

Initially, there are 24 time zones in the world. But since some countries observe a 30-45 minute offset, additional time zones were created. But no matter how many time zones are there, what matters most is you know the difference between the time zones. This way, you can know precisely the corresponding time of your country from another country, instead of wondering what time is it? If you have a hard time knowing these things, you can check our website to know more about a particular place’s time and date.

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