Most of us have a general idea of what the Commonwealth of Massachusetts looks like on a map.  People who live in this part of the state most likely have a better familiarity with the southern coastline than that of the northern coastline, which is understandable.

We are all pretty versed on the muscle arm shape of the Cape, and how, unfortunately, a majority of the SouthCoast kind of makes up the armpit of the state. We're talking strictly about the shape of the state here, of course!

I spent my entire life walking around thinking that I knew the shape of Massachusetts.

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I mean, my brain doesn't have specific detail, but I certainly have a basic memory of how the state, in general, is shaped.

However, I was today years old when I found out that the actual shape of Massachusetts isn't what I thought it was my whole life.

I was shocked to find out that Massachusetts is, in fact, much bigger than I knew.

Here's why.

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I had only considered the land while thinking about the size of our state. I totally neglected to take the ocean into consideration. It turns out that Massachusetts is much bigger when you include our offshore waters.

The boundaries of Massachusetts can be seen on this map which was found on  In the interest of simplicity, you'll notice that the ocean border isn't quite as detailed as the actual land border.

According to the state, the official Massachusetts coastal zone includes the lands and waters within the seaward limit of the state’s territorial sea to generally 100 feet beyond the first major land transportation route encountered (a road, highway, rail line, etc.). Included in the state’s coastal zone is all of Barnstable County, Dukes County, and Nantucket County (i.e., Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Gosnold), tidal rivers and adjacent uplands, and anadromous fish runs in coastal towns.

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