• History

The Most WTF, Trivial Things Countries Have Fought Over

List RulesVote up the craziest sh*t countries have fought over.

There have been a lot of dumb things countries have fought over. You might think entire nations wouldn't have petty disputes like two suburban dads passive-aggressively trying to stick it to their neighbor - let's just see what the Homeowner's Association has to say about that new Ficus, Bob - but you would be wrong. So wrong. Some of the silliest disputes in history have been between two or more countries.

There are plenty of weird reasons countries have gone to war. There have been disputes over the proper ownership of a camel (yes, one camel), soccer hooligans, somewhat unsurprisingly, causing an actual war between El Salvador and Honduras, and golden stools up for grabs. Check out this list of weird historical disputes and vote up the craziest things countries have fought over.

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    383 VOTES

    The Pastry War Sounds Adorable and Delicious, but It Was Decidedly Not

    Photo: Horace Vernet/Public Domain / via Wikimedia Commons

    In 1838 Mexico was in shambles as several factions warred for control over the country after gaining independence from Spain. Many civilian homes and businesses were damaged in the process. One such business was that of French national Remontel who appealed to the Mexican government to pay the damages caused by Mexican soldiers. When the government refused, Remontel turned to France and King Louis-Phillipe. France ordered Mexico to pay 600,000 pesos for the bakery, but Mexico still wouldn't budge. King Louis-Phillipe sent French ships to blockade the Gulf coast, effectively capturing the entire Mexican naval fleet. Mexico then declared war. 

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    The Football War Wasn't Actually About the 1969 World Cup, but It Sure Didn't Help

    Photo: Corsair133693 / via Wikimedia Commons

    The 1969 war between El Salvador and Honduras lasted 100 hours, displaced thousands, and killed hundreds. And it all started after a football match. In truth, the tensions between Honduras and El Salvador existed before the 1970 FIFA World Cup qualifier, but the football game only worked to feed those fires. After Honduras won the first round, fans erupted in violence. More violence followed after El Salvador won the second round. El Salvador won the third round and the very same day dissolved all diplomatic ties. On July 14th, 1969, El Salvador launched a military campaign against Honduras and started what is now known as the Football War.

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    505 VOTES

    The US and Britain Nearly Went to War Over a Dead Pig

    Photo: Public Domain / via Wikimedia Commons

    In 1859 both the United States and Britain believed that they had the right to San Juan Island. So the British Hudson Bay Company began working on the island and several Americans settled there. One day a pig from the Hudson Bay Company wandered onto the land of one the American settlers and started eating his potatoes. The settler shot the pig. The Hudson Bay Company demanded compensation. British authorities then threatened the settler, who called for American military protection. Both sides prepared for a battle but neither was willing to fire the first shot over a pig... so eventually both Britain and the US decided to have a military presence remain on the island peacefully. 

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    340 VOTES

    Two Tribes Went to War Over a Horse Race

    Photo: Public Domain / via Wikimedia Commons

    The War of Dahis and Ghabra was a war between two Arab tribes that lasted 40 years and started in 610 CE. Dahis was a horse owned by the Abs tribe and Ghabra was a horse owned by the Dhubyan tribe. The two tribes decided to race their horses on a bet, but when the Dhubyan tribe realized their horse was going to lose, they sabotaged the Abs horse. Sensing the cheating, the Abs chief declared himself the winner and insisted the Dhubyan leader pay up. Thus began a war that lasted 40 years and which no one knows who won. 

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