This little smudge of Arctic rock is Hans Island and it's been ground zero for a ridiculously polite territorial dispute between Canada and Denmark.
Hans Island is a wee 1.3 km-square, uninhabited knoll that sits right in the middle of the water between Canada's Ellesmere Island and Greenland. Right in the middle of the border. Right in the middle of an otherwise cordial relationship.
Both Denmark and Canada have laid claim to the island but without any formal agreement both countries have mostly just been passive aggressive about the whole thing.
Like flag-strewn photo ops and — rumour has it — leaving behind bottles of country-appropriate alcohol.
But now an academic has an uncommonly sane, rational idea: just share the damn thing.
Canadian and Danish academics — including the University's of British Columbia's Michael Byers — are proposing that Hans Island be turned into a condominium.
The two countries have generally agreed to politely disagree on Hans Island. But we can probably all agree on this: we shouldn't let a little slice of land tear us apart.
Lauren Strapagiel is Managing Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.
Contact Lauren Strapagiel at email@example.com.
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