25 Most Controversial Territorial Disputes

Look at a map of the world. Do you see all those crisp looking borders with pretty colors between them? They look really clean and well defined, right? Well, unfortunately, the world is not like that. Everyday borders shift, old countries are dissolved, and new countries are formed. Many parts of our world are claimed by numerous countries, and a lot of those borders are just rough approximations. In fact, many times, depending on whose map you look at, the world will change drastically. So, next time you look at an atlas, take what you see with a grain of salt. Here are the 25 Most Controversial Territorial Disputes.



For centuries, Greece and Turkey have been at each other’s throats, and this time, the situation is no different. They’ve gone back and forth taking and re-taking control of Cyprus. After several recent invasions by both sides, the island has now been split in half. As of today, the northern 37% is under Turkish control while the southern 63% is under the control of the Republic of Cyprus (primarily Greek). Between the two is a buffer zone administered by NATO.


Ceuta and Melilla

Ceuta and Melillahttp://www.theweek.co.uk/94326/ceuta-and-melilla-why-does-spain-own-two-cities-in-africa

These cities on the northern coast of Morocco are Spain’s only remaining territories in Africa. Morocco has repeatedly called for the Spanish government to transfer sovereignty of the two cities, but in both cases, the local population rejected the idea by an overwhelming majority. So, for now, they remain officially in the European Union.


Point 20


Getting along has never really been a strong point for the governments of Malaysia and Singapore. Recently, however, things really got interesting when Malaysia accused Singapore of running off with some of their land. Because Singapore is an island, it relies on reclaiming land out of the surrounding waterways. Evidently though, the area known as the Point 20 Sliver was not the smartest place to go digging.


New Moore / South Talpatti


People will fight over anything these days and the island of New Moore proves it. But to be precise, it wasn’t even an island. It was a sandbar. It was a sandbar that no longer even exists. In 1970, it appeared off the coast of India and Bangladesh after the Bhola cyclone, and in 2010, due to rising sea levels, it once again disappeared beneath the waves. That, however, didn’t stop the two nations from butting heads for almost 40 years over a pile of sand.




In yet another semi-amusing territorial dispute, this uninhabited island in the north Atlantic is claimed by several governments including the UK, Iceland, and Ireland. In 1997 though, Greenpeace occupied the island and called it Waveland. Not surprisingly, none of the other claimants seemed to care enough to mount an invasion.

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