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International borders run the gamut from straight and simple, to jagged and complex, to downright convoluted and nonsensical.  In an earlier post, we looked at some of the most complicated borders in the world, thanks to a YouTube clip by the WonderWhy channel. The video showcased several unusual demarcations between countries, but also explained the historical reasons for them.  The justifications don’t make the work of the poor cartographer any easier, but it at least they provide some fun trivia in case you ever find yourself having to explain why, for example, a confusing set of angular enclaves and exclaves are scattered along the border between India and Bangladesh.

Now that video has a sequel, and the strange borders are back with a vengeance.

This time around, we learn about the borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan, each of which technically have exclaves within the other country.  Confusing matters further is the existence of a semi-autonomous region within Azerbaijan (named Nagorno-Karabakh) which claims independence but is not recognized as independent by most other countries in the world.

Map of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, via Wikipedia.  The historical area of Nagorno-Karabakh is shown in dark brown, but the yellow territory is effectively part of it as well, since it is currently occupied by Armenia, which provides support to the small semi-autonomous Republic. It’s a complicated arrangement.

The video also touches on some tiny house-sized exclaves of Germany that exist within Belgium and Switzerland, the line of control between India and Pakistan through the disputed region of Kashmir, and the border dispute between Croatia and Serbia due to the movement of the River Danube over time, which results in the strange situation that some areas are claimed by both countries, while other areas are claimed by neither.  Check out the video for the full story.

Happy mapping!

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