You might not expect a place like Hans Island, a .5-square-mile (1.3-square-kilometer) bit of rock with no inhabitants or natural resources, to be the subject of a territorial dispute. But it is, and has been for three decades. The issue stems from the international law stating that all countries have the right to claim territory within 12 miles of their shore. Since Hans Island is within that zone for both Canada and Greenland, an autonomous territory of Denmark, it's technically fair game for both countries. It was judged to be Danish territory by the League of Nations in 1933, but that governing body was replaced by the United Nations soon after, making that ruling all but meaningless. That didn't stop Denmark's minister of Greenland affairs from staking his country's claim. When visiting the island in 1984, he planted a Danish flag and left a bottle of brandy and a note saying "Welcome to the Danish island." Ever since, a good-humored "whiskey war" has taken place, with Canadian military leaving a flag, a bottle of Canadian whiskey, and a sign welcoming visitors to Canada, and Danish military leaving the same with a bottle of schnapps or brandy. We've collected some awesome videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.
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Written by Curiosity Staff July 18, 2016
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