• 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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  • 1

    Britain and Spain Went to War Over Some Dude's Ear

    Photo: Luis Fernandez Gordillo/Public Domain / via Wikimedia Commons

    The War of Jenkins's Ear was over, you guessed it, Jenkins's ear. In 1739, the British wanted to spur popular opinion against the Spanish. In order to increase their trade advantage in the Caribbean and pressure the Spanish into continuing to allow the British to sell slaves in Spanish America, they decided to go to war. But how could they justify that?

    Luckily, eight years earlier, the Spanish boarded a British ship and for some reason cut off the ear of Robert Jenkins, the vessel's captain. Jenkins appeared before the British Parliament with his severed ear and the British used it as reason enough to go to war with Spain for the next nine years.

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  • 2

    Bologna and Modena Both Really Wanted the Same Oak Bucket

    Photo: Bergonzc / via Wikimedia Commons

    It may seem hard to believe, but this was a battle that was literally fought over a bucket. In 1325, tensions between the Italian city-states Bologna and Modena were high. Modena soldiers snuck into Bologna and stole an oaken bucket from the main city well and filled it with loot. Bologna demanded the return of the bucket, and when Modena refused, they declared war. In the end, Bologna lost the war and the bucket remains in Modena. 

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  • 3

    A Camel Caused a 40-Year War

    The Al-Basus War has become synonymous with the pitfalls of vengeance. The war lasted years and it was over a camel. One solitary, spitting camel. The camel belonged to Al-Basus, and in 494 CE, it wandered off into the neighbor's yard to play with their herd of camel. The neighbor, a member of the Taghlib tribe of the Arabian Peninsula, had no idea someone else's camel was in his herd and he managed to kill the escaped camel. Al-Basus went to the leader of her tribe and he promptly killed the chief of the Taghlib tribe. Thus began a 40-year war over one camel.

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  • 4

    Lijar, Spain, Held a 100-Year Grudge Over an Incident They Weren't Even Involved In

    Photo: Public Domain / via Wikimedia Commons

    In 1883, the Spanish King Alfonso XII visited Paris and ended up being insulted by a French mob. The mayor of the small town of Lijar in Spain was so enraged by the behavior that he declared war on France. The tiny town maintained the war in their hearts, but not on the battlefield for 100 years. The two sides never attacked one another but the war was real to the people of Lijar. In the 1970s, Spanish King Juan Carlos visited France and got a welcome reception which made the small town willing to negotiate peace. France even sent a diplomat to negotiate the terms of the peace treaty. 

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