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  #1  
Old 09-01-2006, 10:40 PM
Toyman991 Toyman991 is offline
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Is there any habitable land left on earth that hasn't been claimed by a country?

Say someone wanted to start their own sovereign nation and needed some turf to call their own, is there any unclaimed land left? Failing that, are there countries desperate enough for cash that might be willing to part with some with the stipulation that their sovereignty would be transferred along with the sale? No plans here...just curious.
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2006, 10:54 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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We have done this one a bunch of times. There isn't any habitable land that is unclaimed. Antarctica isn't really claimed by any country but no one is allowed to claim it either. Your only real hope is claiming a new volcanic island in the open ocean as it forms but those are very rare and the land won't be worth a damn for quite some time. There are plenty of islands for sale especially in the Caribbean but I don't know how you would get the country it falls under to give you sovereignty.

One little group has had some degree of luck starting their own country but that is on an ocean platform rather than actual land. Sealand has been around for a while.
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:55 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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You can check out islands for sale here to get the land but you will have to succeed from the mother country at your own risk.

http://www.privateislandsonline.com/
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  #4  
Old 09-02-2006, 08:58 AM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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(a) No, if it's inhabitable, it's claimed. What with geosurvey satellites and all that it's unlikely there were any "Gilligan's Islands" left in open ocean; in any case any country within 200 nm would have the claim by default. But even if you were to miraculously stumble upon a mid-ocean inhabitable island 500nm from any continental shelf, the nearest country with a Navy that can take you on would probably be making a call.

(b) Straight-out sale of sovereignty? These days? Your new state would get even less recognition of legitimacy than Transkei, and the seller would be looked upon at the next UN meeting as more pathetic than the Somali Provisional Government. OTOH you may sponsor a secessionist movement with the existing population of a region, and under the table bribe the established government into accepting a "negotiated settlement". But you better arm your new state for the day when your patsies in the mother country are out of office, and the new regime decides it's reunification time...
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Old 09-02-2006, 09:52 AM
Ximenean Ximenean is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagnasty
One little group has had some degree of luck starting their own country but that is on an ocean platform rather than actual land. Sealand has been around for a while.
You really should visit that website by the way - it is absolutely hilarious (shame about the recent fire, though). Love the Official Decree about setting up a state bank. The Royal Bank of Sealand even has an address and what appears to be a postal code -- 5, The Row, Sealand 1001. This on a small disused military platform.
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  #6  
Old 09-02-2006, 10:05 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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I saw that the platform housed some 200 soldiers at one time, but how many people live there now? If I was Bill Gates, I'd toss 'em a few mil to recover from the fire and to expand a little.

A kidnapping? Jesus!
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  #7  
Old 09-02-2006, 10:40 AM
SnakesCatLady SnakesCatLady is offline
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I just visited the Sealand site. I know what some people are getting for Christmas...
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  #8  
Old 09-02-2006, 11:07 AM
Schnitte Schnitte is offline
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Antarctica is a special case. Several countries (specifically, Norway, France, New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain, Argentina, and Chile) made claims on parts of it which are not recognized by most of the rest of the world (according to Wikipedia, citing the CIA World Factbook, a portion of Antarctica that is not claimed by any country is the only unclaimed solid land in the world). The Antarctic Treaty, to which many, but not all, countries in the world are parties, did not resolve the issue of Antarctic territorial claims, but only ruled that new claims should not be made. But all in all, Antarctica is not what you'd call an "habitable land."

The two neutral zones between Saudi-Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait (Cecil on this issue) are unclaimed in the sense that they don't belong to any country's territory, but there not free for anyone to take possession of either.
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  #9  
Old 09-02-2006, 11:28 AM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
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How about a slight spin on the OP (and since ol' Bill Gates has already been mentioned) - what if BG wanted to buy out an existing small African nation (or other very poor nation). Could he afford it personally?
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  #10  
Old 09-02-2006, 11:35 AM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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Get together a small band of mercenaries, pick an exiled leader from one of the microcountries, move in, kill anyone who resists, and install that exile guy as the new president.

See "The Dogs of War". But once your puppet is firmly ensconced, don't expect anything approaching gratitude from him.

As we have said so many times, anyone can start their own country. The hard part is getting anyone else to recognize it. And by "hard" I mean "impossible".
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  #11  
Old 09-02-2006, 12:34 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRDelirious
(a) No, if it's inhabitable, it's claimed.

Actually, even i it isn't, it's nevertheless claimed. France (and I assumeit's not the only one) has sovereignty some uninhabitable islands, including one which has barely any part above sea level during high tide.

Even when the island is of no value altogether in itself, with it come the very valuable territorial waters, economical zones, fishing rights, etc....(and even if it were not the case, I'm sure any rock would still be claimed "just in case").
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  #12  
Old 09-02-2006, 02:03 PM
yabob yabob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clairobscur
Actually, even i it isn't, it's nevertheless claimed. France (and I assumeit's not the only one) has sovereignty some uninhabitable islands, including one which has barely any part above sea level during high tide.

Even when the island is of no value altogether in itself, with it come the very valuable territorial waters, economical zones, fishing rights, etc....(and even if it were not the case, I'm sure any rock would still be claimed "just in case").
That would be Bassas Da India. They even feel strongly enough about it to argue with Madagascar over it, although they probably are just lumping it together with other fly specks they own in the vicinity. Those have weather stations and bird refuges on them. The major purpose Bassas Da India seems to serve is being a hazard to navigation.
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  #13  
Old 09-03-2006, 12:20 AM
cmkeller cmkeller is offline
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How about the theoretical "Cast Away" island? At the end, after Chuck Noland was found, his ex-fiancee told him that it seems his island was 600 miles south of the Cook Islands. If it really existed, what country would have claim to it?
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  #14  
Old 09-03-2006, 06:44 AM
Alive At Both Ends Alive At Both Ends is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clairobscur
Even when the island is of no value altogether in itself, with it come the very valuable territorial waters, economical zones, fishing rights, etc....(and even if it were not the case, I'm sure any rock would still be claimed "just in case").
In fact, it's not the case. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea states that uninhabitable rocks cannot have surrounding economic zones etc.
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