More than 10.5 million people live in these territories. The largest in area among them — Antarctica — is greater in size than Europe. The others have parliaments and presidents and are self-governed. But from the South Pole's frigid ice to stretches of the Arabian Desert, none of these territories are recognized by the U.N. as independent countries. Abkhazia, Artsakh, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Somaliland, South Ossetia and Transnistria are de facto republics where no other country's writ runs. Iraqi Kurdistan is formally a part of Iraq but with its own governance structure and military wing. Antarctica is governed through a set of international treaties, with no one country in charge.

Why the Next Climate Change Disaster Could Be in Somaliland

An unrecognized state in the Horn of Africa, Somaliland is on the frontline of the fight against climate change.

Is It Time for the World to Raise the Somaliland Flag?

The world’s failure to grant the breakaway region statehood risks reigniting war with Somalia.

Antarctica Tourism Is Heating Up. This Is Bad News for Ice

Antarctica is the hot new destination, which can be destructive in a place that depends on the cold.


Real Talk, Real Change

Compelling conversations on race to meet the moment.

Countries Are Dead, So It's Time to Think Differently

It’s time for cities to take back their rightful place as the most fundamental building block of human society.

Investors Are Helping Put Somaliland on the Map

A separated slice of Somalia is emerging as a beacon of progress for a country devastated by decades of conflict.

When Fidel Castro Helped a Madrid Suburb Secede From Spain

The meeting between Cuba’s el jefe and leaders of a Spanish neighborhood facing expropriation was political theater — and it worked.

A Clash Over Antarctica's Future Is Deepening

Growing tourism and an expanding krill-fishing industry are running up against international regulations to preserve Antarctica.

When I Got Caught Up in the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus

Teenage summers working in the Mediterranean are idyllic.

Why Your Next Read Should Be From Catalonia

Looking for insight on Catalan culture? Start with its writing.


The Food That Built America

The Food that Built America tells the unbelievable true stories behind the industry titans like Henry Heinz, Milton Hershey, the Kellogg brothers and Ray Kroc, who revolutionized food, and transformed American life and culture forever in the process.

Strolling Through Lithuania's Freest Neighborhood

This self-proclaimed independent neighborhood is the Brooklyn of Lithuania.

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