The illegal drug trade

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A direct line from place to place actually takes longer due to the spherical nature of the Earth. A curved route is quickest, and it’s the route that aircraft take when travelling around the planet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_circle

If you were to fly “direct” as seen on a map, you’d be flying the Rhumb line which is actually longer than the great circle.

[Here’s a pretty good video explaining it](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=634GucAdzzA)

edit: with that being said though, if you wanted shortest distance, you’d never travel to Australia through Russia, because it’d be quicker to fly over the pacific. However, if you do a hop to Australia, hitting London Heathrow, you’ll see the bouncey path you take with the following link: http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=LAX-LHR-SYD

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