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When it comes to neighbors, most countries have several options: like North to Canada
or South to Mexico.
But there are countries that don't have this freedom of choice, not because they're islands
but because they're trapped in another country. For example: tiny Vatican City, which fits
inside of not just Italy, but also just Rome.
How Vatican City got surrounded is complicated, but not unique for there is also the Republic
of San Marino, home to 30,000 citizens which Italy also completely surrounds. Italy, apparently,
is a country that likes countries in its country.
But trapping nations is not just Italy's thing for there's also Lesotho, in South Africa
which is both the largest encircled country at 70 times Vatican City's size and the most
populated with over 2,000,000 citizens.
The thing that makes these three countries' borders bizarre is that any path in or out
must go through the one and only neighbor they have.
But now take a look at The Gambia, which excluding that tiny ocean border, is as surrounded as
any nation can get.
If we amend the previous rule to every land route, now we've made a category of single-neighbored
nations. Which includes all four of these and countries like Portugal, where the only
way in or out is through Spain. Who else is on this list?
Well, there's Monaco which must go through France, Qatar through Saudi Arabia Denmark
through Germany, South Korea through North Korea (though South Korea might as well be
an island nation for most practical travel purposes)
East Timor and Papua New Guinea both through Indonesia, Brunei through Malaysia
And there are two sets of twins: there is The Dominican Republic whose only neighbor
is Haiti and Haiti, whose only neighbor is The Dominican Republic.
And the second set is: Ireland through the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom through
Ireland.
A side note here:
While there are tons of 'British' places around the world, some of which border other nations
-- these are not part of the United Kingdom. It's complicated.
Though if you wanted to, you could argue that the United Kingdom technically dug a land
border under the channel to the continent, presumably to be closer to France, her best
friend ever.
Finally, there's one more country in this category: Canada: the largest single-neighbored,
nation in the world.
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Countries inside Countries: Bizarre Borders Part 1

1091 Folder Collection
林家軒 published on June 29, 2013
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