Behistun, or Bisutun (anc. Baghistan), the site of an ancient Persian city, 22 miles E. of the city of Kirmanshahan. It is noted for its famous precipitous rock, which on one side rises perpendicularly to the height of 1700 feet, and which bears cuneiform inscriptions of Darius Hystaspes about 515 b.c.
Behring Strait separates Asia from America, and connects the Pacific with the Arctic Ocean. The proof that the two continents were not connected was given by a Cossack named Deschnev, who in 1648 sailed from a harbour in Siberia, in the Polar Ocean, into the Sea of Kamchatka. But his voyage was regarded by Europeans as a fable, until Behring's expedition in 1728. The strait was explored and accurately described by Cook in 1778. The narrowest part is near 66° lat., between East Cape in Asia, and Cape Prince of Wales in America, where the capes approach within 36 miles; about midway are three uninhabited islands. The greatest depth is some 30 fathoms. - Behring Sea, called also the Sea of Kamchatka, is that part of the North Pacific Ocean to the S. of Behring Strait. The right of sealing in Behring Sea, long a source of difficulty between Britain and the United States, was settled by arbitration in 1893. - Behring Island, the most westerly of the Aleutian Islands, has an area of 30 sq. m., and was the place where Vitus Behring, or Bering, the discoverer, was wrecked and died in 1741.