Our beautiful planet earth is all bordered up by us humans! Historically, our ancestors started protecting their cultures and values by living among like-minded people who had the same interests and making borders to have control over who could enter or exit their kingdoms. We made the borders even more complicated as the geographical-related sciences improved and the world’s map become more accurate. Most international borders make sense, but some of them are just a little too hard to digest! In this post, we’ll talk about the top 25 weirdest borders in the world.
1- Jungholz, Austria/Germany
Imagine traveling from a point to another in your country being easier by using another country’s roads! In order to reach Jungholz thru Austria, you should climb up the mountain, or simply take the road in Germany!
2- Llivia, Spain/France
When France was taking over some parts of Spain, Llivia residents resisted and remained as a part of Spain, even today! But they need to drive 1.3 km (0.80 miles) to reach mainland Spain!
3- Point Roberts, U.S./Canada
Having borders only with Canada, Point Roberts is an American exclave that’s not connected to the mainland U.S. at all. Point Roberts is part of the U.S. because it lies south of the 49th parallel, which constitutes the Canada–US border in that area.
4- Lake Constance, Austria/Switzerland/Germany
Lake Constance is located between Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. Its shorelines lie in the German states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, the Swiss cantons of St. Gallen, Thurgau, and Schaffhausen, and the Austrian state of Vorarlberg.
5- Kaliningrad, Poland/Russia
Being 500 km (300 miles) away from Mainland Russia, Kaliningrad is a Russian exclave in Europe. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992, Poland and Lithuania gained independence while Kaliningrad remained Russian, simply because no one dared to claim it from Russia!
6- Penon de Velez de la Gomera, Morocco/Spain
The border between the Spanish Exclave, Penon de Velez de la Gomera with Morocco is only 85 meters (93 yards) long which makes it officially the shortest border in the world between two countries. Spain constantly has an army and a few helicopters in this small exclave to make sure Morocco doesn’t take over the place.
7- Baarle-Hertog/Baarle-Nassau, Netherlands/Belgium
Belgium has a lot of Baarle-Hertog city’s small exclaves in Dutch city of Baarle-Nassau.
This weird border’s process got started even before Belgium’s existence. Trades between the Lords of Breda and the Dukes of Brabant, agreements, and land swaps made it as it is today.
8- Diomede islands, Russia/America
Most people think that Russia and America are far away from each other, not knowing the US and Russia are only 4 km (2.4 miles) away. The islands of “Big Diomede” and “Small Diomede” are where the two countries meet in Alaska and Okrug’s borders. The story behind the Diomede islands is fascinating.
9- Cooch-Behar District, India/Bangladesh
The border between Bangladesh and India in the Cooch-Behar district has a similar problem as Baarle-Hertog and Baarle-Nassau — there are enclaves galore. The most notable of which was an “Inception”-like series of enclaves, in which an Indian enclave in Bangladesh surrounds a Bangladeshi enclave, which in turn surrounds another Indian enclave.
10- Haskell Free Library and Opera House, U.S./Canada
Haskell Free Library and Opera House is a building right on the border between the U.S. state of Vermont, and the Canadian province of Quebec. You can enter the place from both sides but not allowed to exit from the other side of the border. Otherwise, you’ll get fined and might even get arrested.
11- Border Between San Marino/Italy
San Marino is an independent country, completely surrounded by Italy. This landlocked nation operates on its own completely. San Marino claims to be the oldest constitutional republic in the world, founded on 3 September 301, by Marinus of Rab, a Christian stonemason fleeing the religious persecution of Roman Emperor Diocletian.
12- Musandam Governorate, Oman/U.A.E.
When the United Arab Emirates was becoming a country, people in Musandam Governorate were given the choice to either remain Omani or become Emirati, and most of them said, “U.A.E. is a poor undeveloped nation while Oman is rich and powerful”, not knowing that in a few decades, United Arab Emirates would become such a thriving and developed nation as we know it today (I mean, who could guess?!)
13- Vorukh, Tajikistan/Kyrgyzstan
When the USSR (stands for Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was breaking up in the 1990s, it left a lot of border complications where nations would still have to fight over with each other, even until today! For example, people living in Tajik, Kyrgyz, and Uzbek exclaves like Vorukh, a Tajik exclave in Kyrgyzstan have to stay there their whole lives because the central governments fear the hosting nation to take over their land in case their people live.
14- Gibraltar, UK/Spain
Gibraltar is a British territory, only having a land border with Spain. This small place has a fascinating history and a few amazing beaches to enjoy if you ever crave a sunny vacation, British style!
15- Melilla and Ceuta, Spain/Morocco
The small cities of Melilla and Ceuta belong to Spain, but are on Africa’s soil, surrounded by Morocco and the Mediterranean. A lot of people from different countries try their best to enter the European Union by crossing the borders and entering these cities.
16- Vatican City, Vatican/Italy
Vatican City is an independent country, surrounded by the Italian city of Rome. The country is however completely independent and attracts a lot of visitors to itself, each year.
17- French Guiana, France/South America
French Guiana is a French overseas territory in South America. Technically being a part of the EU zone, French Guiana is a much better place to live because of all the subsidies and amenities it got compared to the nearby South American nations.
18- Falkland Islands UK/Argentina
19- New Caledonia, France/Oceania
New Caledonia is a French overseas territory in Oceania. This island paradise is only about 40 minutes away from New Zealand and an hour away from Australia by air, but technically a part of France and the EU.
20- The Border Between Lesotho/South Africa
Lesotho is an independent country, surrounded by South Africa from all sides. This landlocked country is famous for its ski resorts, waterfalls, and culture.
21- Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia/Azerbaijan
Nagorno-Karabakh area is an Armenian exclave in Azerbaijan. People in this area have gone further than that and claimed their land as the “Republic of Artsakh”. This new country has not been accepted by any recognized country in the world yet. So, the citizens use their Armenian passport if they want to travel.
22- South Ossetia and Transnistria, Georgia
Similar to the Republic of Artsakh, both South Ossetia and Transnistria are self-claimed countries in Georgia that couldn’t get recognition from any nation but Russia and a few others. But they have their own military, border control, and governments.
23- The DMZ, North Korea/South Korea
The DMZ (stands for Demilitarized Zone) is the border between North Korea and South Korea. This border is known as the most dangerous border in the world since the two countries might fire up at each other at any moment!
24- Northern Cyprus, Cyprus/Turkey
Northern Cyprus is the right half of the Cyprus island which claimed itself as an independent country that is not fully recognized by any country other than Turkey. Most citizens of Northern Cyprus are entitled to Cypriot citizenship and all of them can apply for Turkish citizenship if they wish so.
25- The Border Between Monaco/France
Monaco is one of the smallest countries in the world, surrounded by France and the Ligurian sea. This small nation is a tax-haven and holds the record for having the most millionaires per square foot.