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Slices of the Pie: Mapping Territorial Claims in Antarctica
For the 55% of the world’s population who reside in cities, land is viewed as a precious commodity—every square foot has a value attached to it. As the global population continues to rise toward the eight billion mark, it can seem like humans have laid claim to every available corner of the earth.
While this is mostly true, there is one place on the planet that is vast, empty, and even partially unclaimed: Antarctica.
Today’s map, originally created by the CIA World Factbook, visualizes the active claims on Antarctic territory, as well as the location of many permanent research facilities.
The History of Antarctic Territorial Claims
In the first half of the 20th Century, a number of countries began to claim wedge-shaped portions of territory on the southernmost continent. Even Nazi Germany was in on the action, claiming a large swath of land which they dubbed New Swabia.
After WWII, the Antarctic Treaty system—which established the legal framework for the management of the continent—began to take shape. In the 1950s, seven countries including Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom claimed territorial sovereignty over portions of Antarctica. A number of other nations, including the U.S. and Japan, were engaged in exploration but hadn’t put forward claims in an official capacity.
|Territorial claims in Antarctica||Territory name||Area of claim|
|Australia||Australian Antarctic Territory||3,663,915 mi² (5,896,500 km²)|
|Norway||Queen (Read more...)|