The most intelligent war in history: Canada and Denmark fight for Hans Island, drinking schnapps and whiskeyBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/the-most-intelligent-war-in-history-canada-and-denmark-fight-for-hans-island-drinking-schnapps-and-whiskey.html
Hans Island is a lifeless piece of land, or rather a rock, located in the North Atlantic Ocean between Greenland and Canada. At one time, when determining the boundaries between an island belonging to Denmark and a country on the North American continent, they could not determine the ownership of the island and for 30 years it has been the cause of the most harmless territorial conflict on the planet.
Nothing grows on Hans Island, as there is no soil, no fresh water and, of course, no population. Even snow does not linger on the smooth surface of the stone and is blown into the ocean by constant squally winds. It would seem - who needs a lifeless rock located in one of the harshest corners of the planet? But neither Canada nor Denmark are going to give up an inch of land that they consider their own.
Initially, the island did not belong to anyone and did not have a name at all. The local Eskimos were well aware of it, did not attach any importance to the rock. The island was first explored in 1920 by a Danish scientific expedition, and in 1933 Hans Island, together with Greenland, was annexed to the Danish Kingdom. Then the island was forgotten for 50 years and remembered only during navigation, as an obstacle to navigation.
But then it was time to define the maritime border between Denmark and Canada, and they remembered about Hans Island. The fact is that the definition of sea boundaries was entrusted to a computer, which without any tricks drew the border exactly in the center of the strait separating Greenland from the mainland. Hans Island, as it turned out, is located exactly on the line defined by the electronic device.
The border line consisted of 127 short segments and did not cause the slightest doubt among the parties, except for one section - between the points numbered 122 and 123. It was here that Hans Island was located, which at the time of demarcation did not interest anyone and remained tied.
The dispute over the ownership of the rock flared up after a Canadian oil-producing concern landed a geological exploration expedition on the island, which studied the composition of the rock and took ice samples. This caused concern in both the Danish and Canadian governments - what if scientists find oil or gas there? So that no one would be envious, the countries gathered a council and agreed to leave the island alone and not conduct any reconnaissance there.
But in 1984, the Danes could not stand it and sent the military to the island, who installed a flagpole on it, hanging the flag of Denmark on it. A bottle of good Danish schnapps with a note "Welcome to the Danish island!" was left under the mast.
Noticing such a blatant violation of neutrality, the Canadian side hung its flag on the flagpole and left a bottle of Canadian whiskey "Canadian Club". Since then, the merciless war with flags and alcohol has been going on for the 35th year. Then one or the other side lands on a rock, drinks the opponent's alcohol, leaves their own and, replacing the flag, is removed. The end of the confrontation for the island is not yet visible – no one really needs it, and the destruction of booze by the opposing sides has already become a tradition.