International Condominiums

For the vast majority of people, a condominium is a suite in a commonly-held apartment building that is owned rather than rented.  Condominiums, however, also exist in international law. Not as apartment complexes lying on international borders, or anything like that. Rather, a condominium is a piece of territory shared equally by two or more…

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Coronado and the Seven Cities of Cibola

‘Quivira regna’(‘Quivira Kingdom’) and ‘Ceuola’(Cibola), highlighted in green as displayed on a replica late 16th century globe.  Note the errant placement of Quivira well to the northwest of Cibola. Myths of lost cities of gold were a staple of early European exploration in the western hemisphere, particularly among Spanish explorers looking to stumble upon New…

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The Zanclean Flood: Refilling the Mediterranean

While the Mediterranean Sea is one of the cradles of ancient human civilisation, the water body is rather young geologically, approximately 5.33 million years old.  Researchers have found that this figure marks the date of the Zanclean flood, an epic breach of the Strait of Gibraltar that turned the desiccated Mediterranean basin into a sprawling…

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Milk River: Under Eight Flags

When one looks back to Spain’s colonial empire in the Americas, one usually thinks of its possessions that encompasses Mexico, Central America, and South America.  Maybe old California and Texas, or its Caribbean possessions such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, or Puerto Rico spring to mind.  Canada’s Prairie Provinces don’t exactly scream out ‘Spain’ to…

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Interrupted International Borders, Part II: Europe, Africa, and North America

Today, we finish off our look at countries that border other countries more than once thanks to the presence of an intervening country or water body (Part I can be found here).  Again, each of these examples could be their own article and then some; consider these more of a brief description of each border’s…

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A Short Look at Potentially Bridging the Strait of Gibraltar

In the existence of this website, we’ve looked at the feasibility and costs of building bridges across the Bering Strait and the Red Sea, as well as the pitfalls of joining North and South America by road over the Darién Gap.  Inevitably, when potentially bridging gaps between continents by road, one must look at the…

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The Ever-Changing Route of the Dakar Rally

This time of year marks the annual appearance of one of the most arduous tests in sport, the two-week-long Dakar Rally (for those who aren’t fans of motorsport, perhaps the closest sporting equivalent to the Dakar might be cycling’s Tour de France).  A 14-stage race for the world’s top off-road racers of cars, quads, motorcycles,…

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The Longest Train Ride in the World

In March 2010, news sites were abuzz with the announcement of a proposed Chinese-backed high-speed Eurasian rail line that could whip passengers between London and Beijing at speeds of up to 345 km/h (215 mph), completing the 17-country, 8 160 km (5 070 mi) journey in just two days. While such a fantastical project is…

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Spanish Possessions in North Africa

When we think of transcontinental countries, we think of ones that cross contiguous borders: Russia, Turkey, Egypt.  But when you look at things geologically, or take into account non-contiguous landmasses, it really messes things up.  For example, most people probably don’t think of Spain as a transcontinental country.  But it is, and that doesn’t just…

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