(Inspired by can I live on an unoccupied island)

In the question that made me think of this, the person asked about inhabiting an island that is part of a country. This made me wonder - what if you made your own island somehow?

Putting aside the fact that it's rather difficult to do (perhaps I can somehow technologically influence the tectonic plates to shift, crack, etc, and have a volcano come up out of ocean floor), and the fact that a powerful nation could theoretically just say 'no, I want it, and I'm backing it up with this gun,' if I somehow made an island in the middle of the ocean, in international waters, could I claim it as its own nation? Is there any precedent for how this would be handled far away from any nation and its own territorial waters?

closed as off-topic by drat, choster, Mark Mayo, Nean Der Thal, LessPop_MoreFizz Mar 20 '15 at 6:34

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To quote my comment from the other question: This has been tried. It didn't work. Some people built up a preexisting reef into an artificial island (the reef was below sea level at high tide beforehand), and claimed it as a new libertarian nation. No one had laid claim to the reef beforehand. The actual countries around it got together, Tonga claimed the reef, everyone else agreed, and Tonga sent its military to take the land. In 1982, people tried to pull this again with the same island, and it failed again. It doesn't exactly take a very powerful country to kick you off.

  • Is there any historical precedence of something further away from a sovereign nation that you know of? – childofsoong Mar 20 '15 at 0:56

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