If this land truly belongs to no country does that mean you could legally kill people here? Imagination runs wild.Reply
The headline is actually misleading. It's just that neither Egypt nor Sudan can claim it without giving up the claim to Hala'ib Triangle.
And Bir Tawil is just a worthless desert, but Hala'ib Triangle is mostly fertile land with a sizeable shoreline, so why would anyone pick the worthless desert over it instead?Reply
The land either belongs to Egypt or to Sudan. Suppose I buy a bike from you. The bike is faulty so I declare the transaction null and void and demand my money back. You refuse to reverse the transaction. Who owns the bike? You claim I own the bike and I claim you own it. Who the owner actually is won't be settled before a court process. Bir Tawil is the same. Thus third parties claiming Bir Tawil is nonsense. It's like a random person claiming the bike is theirs since neither I nor who I bought it from wants it.
This is different from stuff that legitimately has no owner, like a flower in a forest. Unless the forest is private property, the flower has no owner until it is picked. As can be imagined, very few things actually has no owner.Reply
Why not just get the UN to declare Jersey City as terra nullis, and let whoever from the Orkney Islands to Swaziland take over administration?Reply
As someone who hangs out in the surrounding countries from time to time: this is a pretty good case where "because you can doesn't mean you should." Like, this is some crazy idiocy and you should know what you're in for with the relatively painless bureaucracy. Some diplomatic spat or tragedy and they will ignore whatever they signed onto with Heaton.
But hey, if I were Heaton's daughter I turn my princess status into a college admissions essay,Reply
Well, that was an interesting read. I just think deserts are awesome.Reply
Must admit, that's good writing. I almost felt like I was on the trip myself!Reply
I would suggest to people that want to colonize mars that we try a self-sustaining colony at Bir Tawil first. Of course it would need a sufficient budget, in USD or EUR per year, and cooperation from the adjacent governments for over-land transport of supplies and construction materials.
Not for the purpose of trying to claim it as a sovereign state (silly idea), but as a proof of concept on the volume of material/logistics involved and to stress-test the technology for self sustaining colony infrastructure.
Note that I am not saying we shouldn't also attempt a mars colony, but rather that running a pilot project/proof of concept at Bir Tawil or some similarly harsh environment would be a minuscule cost compared to the actual thing, and may prove very instructive.
It has the advantage of:
standard earth atmospheric pressure and air you can breathe
can go outside without a spacesuit
magnetosphere for radiation protection
ability to extract some drinkable water from the air, even if very arid, if you have sufficient amounts of electricity
relatively easy to transport dozens of tons of cargo to, likely using something like military-type 6x6 5 ton trucks
access to earth based telecommunications systems (geostationary satellites, iridium, inmarsat, etc)
photovoltaic systems can be installed that don't need to be hardened for vacuumReply
I’m more drawn in than I expected. Something about this reminds me of Stephenson’s writing:
> The senior officer concluded, perceptively, that, whatever we were attempting to do, we were far too incompetent to do it properly, or to cause too much trouble along the way.Reply