Are there any undemarcated boundaries left in the world?

I remember looking at maps back in elementary school showing some undemarcated boundaries in the Middle East and Africa. I also think there were some in the Arctic.

Are there any such undemarcated boundaries left?

I think mostly under the sea. ISTR that a whole bunch of countries are arguing about this in the Arctic, for instance.

How about land boundaries? The far north of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia?

Yes, two at least

  1. between United Arab Emirates and Oman

  2. between United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

cite: My National Geographic Atlas of the World, 8th Edition

There is the disputed region between India and China. here I don’t know if that counts as undemarcated though.

TTBOMK, those are pretty clearly spelled out in treaty, as some valuable resources and routes to mostly-ice-free seaports lie on or near them. The fact that the Saami (Lapps) travel across them is immaterial to who officially owns what as defined by them.

That said, the boundaries of India, Pakistan, and China in the general area of Kashmir are still in dispute. I believe there are a couple of other China-India disputed borders – nothing they’re interested in going to war about, but stuff wher one’s claim and the other’s overlap by a few precipitous miles.

I was surprised when I learned that the border between Labrador and QC has not been formerly recognized by QC, so it sort of meets your criterion.

From wiki:

So if I’m reading this correctly, as far as Quebec is concerned, the border between it and Labrador is not unequivocally demarcated.

There’s also one between Oman and Yemen, somewhere in the middle of the Rub’ al-Khali Desert (It means “empty quarter”).

These vaporous boundaries are quite common in the Arabian peninsula because much of the land is, or was, controlled by Bedouin tribes, who were nomadic. Since they didn’t lay claim to particular tracts of land, borders were defined as “between this oasis and that oasis”, since those were the only things worth claiming.

According to the Wikipedia article on Yeman


Figures. I haven’t been to Oman since 1998.

According to this article, there’s a small section (about 3.6km) of the border between Victoria and South Australia that is not defined:

One of the issues between India and Pakistan is that during partition no one ever bothered to properly survey the border through the Siachen glacier region so it could be partitioned (I mean its a wind swept glacier 7 km above sea level, who’s gonna bother fighting over it :slight_smile: ). Due to that oversight it is now the highest altitude war zone in human history (both nations continue to garrison the region).

Clearly defined, although the borders between Norway, Sweden and Finland are quite open and if you blink you might miss 'em. There is a dispute dealing with the territorial waters north of the border between Norway and Russia, but the land border was agreed upon back in the 1940s.

Some of Israel’s borders seem to be in dispute.

The dispute in Israel is about *which *borders should apply; the borders themselves are extremely well demarcated.

There’s a disputed area involving Peru and Equador.
The situation flared up a bit last year, iirc, but seems to have calmed down again now…

Some areas of Antarctica have multiple claiments, but it’s a special case.

That’s interesting. I love stuff like this. Here is the area on Google Maps - looks like the border in practice runs down the middle of the river (although it also looks like the river could well change its course quite regularly, by the look of those oxbow lakes and old river channels).

Also it looks like the Vic/SA border runs along the middle of the channel, but the Vic/NSW border runs along the southern shore.

So, we need for you or a willing friend to go swimming in the Murray River, in the undefined area, and commit a felony. We’ll watch the papers and see which jurisdiction convicts you. Then the matter will be settled once and for all.

Get back to us when you’re ready.

The borders between India-Pakistan (Kashmir) and India-China (Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh) are disputed, but not undemarcated. Each country has a very clear idea of where it thinks the border is.

As I pointed on in my earlier post, while the Kashmir issue as a whole is not one of demarcation, the dispute around the Siachen glacier is. It was left undemarcated as it was so remote, inhospitable and hard to survey (and hence, it was assumed, no one would bother fighting such unpopulated, completely useless territory).