Contest #458 – Hans Island (disputed between Denmark/Greenland and Canada)

This simply has to be the most polite land dispute in history (though Saint Martin/Sint Maarten is pretty close).

This is what the place looks like:


and this is where it is:

Location of Hans Island

According to a 1933 ruling by the “Permanent Court of International Justice” (which, oddly enough, no longer exists), Hans belongs to the Danish, but given that it is actually slightly closer to Canada, and the fact that when the League of Nations was dissolved, the power of the court went away as well so rulings from that court no longer had the rule of law, the Canadians have laid claim to the land.

From time to time, the Danish will drop by the island, raise the flag of Greenland, and leave a bottle of Brandy. Sometime later, the Canadian military will swing by and change flags, take the brandy, and leave a bottle of Canadian whiskey. Rinse, repeat.

There are negotiations to jointly administer this bare chunk of uninhabited rock with no natural resources, but in the meantime, the internet is having a lot of fun with the “whiskey war”. See, for example, this tongue in cheek website.

Those who have no respect whatsoever for 1933’s justice and found it because it is listed as a “dispute” included:

  • Glenmorren
  • Garfield
  • hhgygy
  • Lighthouse
  • Phil Ower
  • marisa boraas
  • Robin
  • Eloy Cano
  • Maureen
  • Tim
  • Max_Power
  • Junebug

And those who just assumed all along it was part of Greenland, so they couldn’t find it until the hint made them realize there was some sort of controversy:

  • Ann K.
  • Romano
  • Steve J
  • Joe9000