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Reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode, imagine if you will a land where nobody lives, where there are no roads and no buildings, and no country claims the land as its own. There is, in fact, such a place on the continent of Africa. It is called Bir Tawil.

Bir Tawil lies along the boundary between Egypt and Sudan. The area is not large, a bit more than half the size of Rhode Island. With a desert surface of rocks and sand, every day for three-fourths of the year the temperature in Bir Tawil exceeds one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. In short, Bir Tawil is a hot, desert wasteland with very few if any redeeming qualities. But that is not why the land goes unclaimed.

Treating Egypt as a protectorate in the late 19th century (even though technically it was a “Khedivate” of the Ottoman Empire), British bureaucrats decided to create a boundary line between Egypt and Sudan in 1899. The line went east-west exactly along the 22nd parallel. Needless to say, such an arbitrary boundary line took no account of local conditions or tribal histories, and immediately drew criticism from both the Egyptians and Sudanese.

In November 1902 the British tried to correct their error by adjusting the boundary line along what they thought were tribal interests in the region. Part of that adjustment created the 795 square mile area called Bir Tawil south of the 22nd parallel, while the much larger “Halaib Triangle” was created north of the 22nd parallel along the Red Sea coastline. The Halaib Triangle is not only ten times larger than Bir Tawil, but it actually has people who live there, about 1,000 residents. Here is a map to show both Bir Tawil and the Halaib Triangle along the Egypt-Sudan border:
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Following WWII the British withdrew from their “protectorate,” after which Egypt and Sudan started work on a final boundary line. The gist of the negotiations was that one country would get Bir Tawil and the other would get the Halaib Triangle. Egypt favored the 1899 boundary since that gave them the much larger Halaib Triangle, and of course Sudan favored the 1902 boundary for the same reason. But since all of the land was thought to be worthless, both countries had a more or less handshake agreement that they would jointly administer Bir Tawil and the Halaib Triangle until they finally settled their boundary line.

But then a terrible thing happened: oil was discovered in the Red Sea off the coastline of the Halaib Triangle. And as you may guess, that caused both Egypt and Sudan to immediately claim the Halaib Triangle as their own. And equally, both countries abandoned any claim to Bir Tawil in order to preserve their rightful claim to Halaib. In 1958 Cairo sent troops into the Halaib Triangle so that in effect it is, though hotly disputed, Egyptian territory.

And today Bir Tawil remains up for grabs, a land belonging to no country, and no country claims it. Does that mean you could just waltz into worthless little Bir Tawil and proclaim the creation of a new country there? Well, technically yes. But good luck doing that...
 

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Reading the general description of the land as presented here.
A line from the movie Riddick comes to mind- "If I owned this place and Hell. I'd rent out this place and live in Hell."
Sounds like good rental property to me.🤣
 
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