Make your way around Maine and you'll come across plenty of oddities. But one of the strangest stipulations in Vacationland exists on the remote island known as Machias Seal Island. About 10 miles off the coast of Cutler, Machias Seal Island is the only disputed territory remaining between the United States and Canada which would presumably give someone born there a very interesting privilege.

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According to, because of the continuing ongoing dispute over the island, anyone who is born on Machias Seal Island is given the claim of dual citizenship. It's the only place in Maine where such a claim is a birthright. But before you go planning a baby shower on the remote island, there's a few things you should know.

There's a nearly 200-year-old lighthouse erected on the island that is manned by a Canadian light keeper all year long. It's considered an important job by Canadians, as a safety net for passing boats but also as a keeper to the real inhabitants of the island. The puffins.


Puffins have been using Machias Seal Island as their breeding ground and their seabird colony has become a tourist destination. The light keeper and an agreement to curb tourism between the United States and Canada has made sightseeing boat tours to Machias Seal Island feel exclusive. Only 15 guests per country are allowed on the island on any given day during peak season. Not only that, visitors are relegated to designated boardwalks as to not disturb the puffin colony.

All of that means that you're highly unlikely to give birth on Machias Seal Island and it's unlikely that your bundle of joy will be able to claim dual citizenship because of it. It is worth a visit in the future though, even without the special privileges.

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