50 Remarkable Tales of Dispute Resolution Across History

1Submerged Island Dispute Resolution

Submerged Island Dispute Resolution

Rising sea levels in 2010 resolved a land dispute between India and Bangladesh. The New Moore Island/South Talpatti in the Sunderbans was completely submerged by water and vanished, thus solving the dispute.

2. When Southwest Airlines attempted to change their motto to "Just Plane Smart" in the 1990s, they discovered that a much smaller company was already using it. To settle the issue, the CEOs of each company engaged in an arm-wrestling match, and the smaller company, Steven's Aviation, ended up winning.

3. Judge Judy once settled a pet dispute by setting the dog free in court to choose its owner.

4. In 2004, Microsoft sued a man named Mike Rowe for the domain MikeRoweSoft.com. Microsoft settled by offering him an Xbox and a selection of games.

5. Due to the ongoing dispute between Canada and the USA over Machias Seal Island, anyone born on it is given the claim of dual citizenship in both countries.

6Brandy-Flag Territorial Dispute

Brandy-Flag Territorial Dispute

Canada and Denmark are in a territorial dispute over Hans Island. Their "war" consists of removing the other country's flag, planting theirs, and leaving a bottle of brandy or whiskey behind.

7. There is a tiny Scottish island called the Isle of Discussion, where nearby locals would resolve their disputes by being taken there with some cheese and whisky and left until they reached a mutual agreement.

8. In medieval Germany, married couples could legally settle their disputes by engaging in a marital duel. To even the field, the man had to fight from inside a hole with one arm tied behind his back, while the woman was free to move and armed with a sack filled with rocks.

9. In Alaska and Greenland, song duel is the only method of resolution for disputes other than murder. In these areas, an Eskimo male is often acclaimed for his ability to sing insults as much as for his hunting prowess.

10. Every December 25th in Santo Tomas, Peru, the locals hold the Takanakuy fighting festival. Men, women, and children gather in the bullring to settle disputes for the upcoming year after days of dancing and drinking. They name their opponents, share a hug, and then engage in a friendly fight, resolving conflicts for the year ahead.

11Skyscraper-Highway Compromise

Skyscraper-Highway Compromise

There's a skyscraper in Japan through which a highway passes on its 5th, 6th, and 7th floors. This unique tower resulted from a peculiar compromise between the landowner and the Japanese government. While the owner aimed to redevelop the building, the government had already planned the expressway.

12. A man named Kevin Tunel, who was convicted of manslaughter due to drunk driving, settled out of court with the victim's family for $936, to be paid $1 every week to remind him of what he had done to their daughter. Tunell was required to pay a total of $936 by 2000, repeating this act for 18 years, representing the years the victim lived.

13. In 2006, an American federal judge in Florida ordered opposing parties in a prolonged court case to resolve a trivial yet extensively debated issue regarding the deposition location using the game of rock, paper, scissors.

14. In a bid to settle their long-standing border dispute, Benin and Burkina Faso declared in 2008 that the approximately 68 km2 area of Koalou/Kourou would belong to neither country, making it one of the world's few unclaimed territories.

15. France and Spain have a unique agreement where France temporarily transfers the Pheasant Island (6,820 sq m) to Spain, which is handed back in six months without any conflict. This practice has been ongoing for over 350 years.

16Name Change TV Deal

Name Change TV Deal

The city council of Clark, Texas, voted to change the town's name to Dish in 2005 as part of an agreement with the DISH satellite TV company. Residents received free basic television service for ten years and a free digital video recorder.

17. Whoopi Goldberg once settled a breach of contract dispute by starring in a movie where she played a cop partnered with a dinosaur.

18. A cat in New Zealand managed to deceive two different women into owning him. Neither knew they had the same cat until after he went to the vet for stitches. Through a shared custody agreement, the cat got to keep both names as well as both owners.

19. Gouging was an American fighting style used in the 18th and 19th centuries to settle disputes. It aimed to remove an opponent's eye.

20. The Battle of the Eclipse, the final confrontation in a six-year war between the Medes and the Lydians in the 6th century B.C., abruptly halted when a solar eclipse plunged the day into darkness. Both armies ceased fighting and reached a peace agreement.

21Golden Eagle Donation Settlement

Golden Eagle Donation Settlement

An art dealer's estate included a collage featuring a stuffed golden eagle. The IRS initially valued the work at $65 million, but the estate argued its value was $0 due to laws prohibiting the sale of eagles. Unable to sell the art, both parties settled the dispute by donating it to a museum.

22. Louis B. Mayer, the co-founder of MGM, established the Oscars as a means to manage labor disputes without involvement from unions.

23. In 1983, rather than litigating against Marvel for alleged plagiarism of his short story "Soldier from Tomorrow," Harlan Ellison reached a settlement with Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter. The agreement entailed Ellison receiving a lifetime subscription to all Marvel publications.

24. The Compromise of 1877 resolved the contentious and disputed 1876 U.S. presidential election through an informal agreement. In exchange for the last 20 electoral votes needed for victory, Rutherford B. Hayes, a Republican, agreed to remove federal troops from the South.

25. To pay off a $15 debt to a friend, American mechanic Walter Hunt invented the safety pin in 1849. After selling the patent for $400, Hunt used the proceeds to settle his debt and retained the rest.