Recently I wrote about a neat land/water recursion that I found. I’ve seen countries that are completely surrounded by other countries (called enclaves)—Lesotho and San Marino being two examples. But I had no idea just how recursive this could become.
Michael Tobis left a comment with a link to an eye-opening post on his Pining for Fjords blog. He points out that there is a piece of India within Bangladesh within India within Bangladesh—a third-order enclave! The map below was posted with fascinating commentary on the Strange Maps blog a few years ago. It shows that area 51 (India) sits inside area 19 (Bangladesh—East Pakistan at that time the map was made) which sits inside area 47 (India) which is in Bangladesh. Wow! For more information see this document by Brendan Whyte.
I was hoping that I could see these enclaves in Google Maps, but they aren’t shown (see below). However, I was struck by the fractal-like appearance of the border between India and Bangladesh.
While not as recursive as the India/Bangladesh enclaves, I also discovered second-order enclaves in the Netherlands. Inside the Dutch municipality of Baarle-Nassau is the Belgian enclave called Baarle-Hertog which consists of 24 parcels of land, and within it are 7 Dutch enclaves.