Back in late August of 2018, I started tracking which countries I had received visitors from to my website. My goal was soon clear, to get at least one visitor from each possible location in the world.
Last month I had gotten visitors from over half of them, but I was starting to get antsy. So as a 29th birthday present to myself, I decided to reach some of the more isolated locations by using Facebook advertisements.
I am not rich, so my budget seldom went over $1 per day. Still, I had some pretty good results.
I started by targeting Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Angola, Antarctica, Åland Islands, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Benin, Brunei, Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba, Guatemala, Leeuwarden, Bonaire, Bhutan, Bouvet Island, Botswana, Cocos Islands, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Cook Islands, Cape Verde, Curaçao, Christmas Island, Djibouti, Dominica, Algeria, Western Sahara, Eritrea, Fiji, Falkland Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Gabon, Grenada, French Guiana, The Gambia, Guinea, Guadeloupe, Equatorial Guinea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Croatia, Haiti, British Indian Ocean Territory,
Jordan, Kiribati, Comoros, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Cayman Islands, Laos, St. Lucia, Liechtenstein, Liberia, Lesotho, Libya, Monaco, Marshall Islands, Mali, Macau, Northern Mariana Islands, Martinique, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Norfolk Island, Nauru, Niue, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Pitcairn, Palestine, Portugal, Beja District, Palau, Réunion, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Seychelles, Saint Helena, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, San Marino, Senegal, Somalia, Suriname, South Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe, Sint Maarten, Swaziland, Chad, French Southern Territories, Togo, Tajikistan, Tokelau, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uganda, United States Minor Outlying Islands, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, Samoa, Yemen, Mayotte, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
I could not target North Korea, Cuba, or the Islamic Republic of Iran. This was because these countries are under US sanctions.
I would set up each advertisement for a four-day run. Sometimes the advert would be for a recent blog post I had linked on my Facebook page, sometimes the advert would link directly to my home page.
After each four-day run, I would remove all the countries I had reached from the targeting, and then run another ad directed to the new shorter list of locations.
Each time, my results would get slimmer and slimmer as I reached more and more isolated locations. The well eventually drying up completely, a short time after I finally knocked Antarctica off the list.
I am now left with a list of 21 locations I have not been able to reach by Facebook marketing.
Join me, as I virtually explore these exotic far-off places, in the hopes that writing more about them will lead some of their inhabitants to this website.
It’s hard to be a completist..
This is an archipelago province belonging to Finland, located right next to Sweden.
It is the only part of Finland where they only speak Swedish.
It is possible that I have already reached Åland, and that they have shown up as Finland in my stats.
This is an uninhabited subantarctic high island. It has been under Norwegian rule since 1930, and it became a nature reserve in 1971.
It is not that strange that I have not gotten any views from Bouvet Island, seeing how it is uninhabited. Won’t be holding my breath either.
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
This Australian external territory consists of two atolls made up of 27 coral islands. Only two of these, West Island and Home Island, are inhabited.
Bantam Village, located on Home Island, is the largest settlement. It has a population of about 500.
The largest group of people on the Keeling Islands are the Cocos Malays, or the Melayu Cocos.
There are around 400 of them living on these islands, with around 4000 living in Malaysia.
This is probably the location on this list that I am most surprised that I have not reached. I’ve reached Antarctica, but somehow not one of the 11,000,000 people living in Cuba!
Sure, the US sanctions against Cuba must play a role in that. But Syria, Sudan and Venezuela are also under sanctions, and I have gotten plenty of views from there.
So excuse me as I just casually list the ten biggest Cuban cities, in descending order: Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Camagüey, Holguin, Guantánamo, Santa Clara, Las Tunas, Bayamo, Cienfuegos and Pinar del Río.
There, that should do it!
I have always liked the name of this island, so it was fun to discover that it was actually named on Christmas Day (25th of December) in 1643.
And the cool names does not stop there! The capital is named the Flying Fish Cove, after the British survey-ship Flying-Fish. But many just call it The Settlement, which is also a cool name!
There are just under 2000 people living on the island, which is more than in many of the locations I have already reached, so I am optimistic about this one.
The State of Eritrea is a country located in the Horn of Africa.
Its capital is Asmara, and the country has about 5,000,000 citizens.
The country is also known as Ertra in Tigrinyan, one of the most used languages in Eritrea.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
This is a British Overseas Territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean.
Nobody lives on the South Sandwich Islands.
There are 22 scientists and support staff from the British Antarctic Survey who in the summer lives in the South Georgian settlements of Bird Island, King Edward Point and Grytviken. In winter, that number goes down to 12.
I immediately recognized Grytviken as a very Norwegian sounding name. And true enough, it was founded on November 16, 1904, by Carl Anton Larsen of Sandefjord, Norway.
Heard Island and McDonald Islands
Damn, this Australian external territory is currently completely uninhabited.
No wonder, seeing how they are a volcanic group of barren Antarctic islands in the Indian Ocean.
Still, there are a bunch of different kinds of seals regularly visiting Heard Island. Visitors such as the southern elephant seal, the Antarctic fur seal, the subantarctic fur seal and the leopard seal.
So I’ll just have to airdrop a laptop or tablet over to Heard, and hope that the seals take the matter into their own flippers!
British Indian Ocean Territory
This UK overseas territory contains 55 islands in the Chagos Archipelago of the Indian Ocean, the largest being the Diego Garcia atoll.
It is the temporary home of about 2500 British and American military personnel and contractors, most living in Camp Justice on Diego Garcia. Or Thunder Cove, as the camp was apparently renamed in 2006.
This territory seems to have been involved with a lot of politically iffy actions. From the British government kicking the native Chagossian people out off their islands in order to build American military bases there, to America later possibly using those bases as black sites and prison camps where they would torture suspected terrorists.
Sometimes facts are fun. This is not one of those times.
Islamic Republic of Iran
With 82,500,000 people living in Iran, it should not be that hard to get just a single one of them to visit my website. But this is another of the three countries on this list with US sanctions against it, which makes it considerably harder.
The capital city is Tehran, and Tehran as a settlement of dates back over 7,000 years.
North Korea (the Democratic People’s Republic of)
Micky Bumbar from Lord of the Drinks informed me that he once got seven views from North Korea due to a post about Kim Jong-Un being very drunk when ordering executions.
I hope conditions in the DPRK will steadily improve as time goes on, as the way “dissenting” citizens have been treated is really horrible to hear about.
This is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia.
Niue is a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand. It uses New Zealand currency, Niueans are citizens of New Zealand, and New Zealand conducts most diplomatic relations on behalf of Niue.
There are under 2000 people living in Niue.
The capital, Alofi, has less than 1000 people living in it, making it the second smallest capital in the world. Only Ngerulmud in Palau has less people living in it, with a population of about 400.
The Pitcairn Islands are four volcanic islands, and a British Overseas Territory. The islands are called Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Island.
There are only 50 people left in Pitcairn, divided between four families. They all live in Adamstown, the only settlement on the islands.
Without some immigration, Pitcairn may be doomed to die out.
Svalbard and Jan Mayen
These are two remote jurisdictions of Norway that are often grouped together for purposes of standardization.
Svalbard has a population of nearly 3000, with the city Longyearbyen as its administrative centre.
Svalbard is home to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which houses backup seeds from a wide variety of plants. This is in case of accidental loss of diversity in traditional genebanks, or in case of a major regional or global catastrophe negatively effecting plant diversity in the wild
Jan Mayen has up to 35 non-permanent residents, all working for the Norwegian Armed Forces or the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.
Jan Mayen has only two towns, Olonkinbyen and Puppebu. Pubbebu means Boob Hut in Norwegian and consists of one building, the titular Boob Hut.
French Southern Territories
The French Southern and Antarctic Lands consists of several territories belonging to France, and one they only claim to rule.
The Kerguelen Islands is a group of volcanic islands in the southern Indian Ocean. There are around 45 French soldiers, scientists, engineers and researchers living there in the winter, and around 110 living there in the summer.
St. Paul and Île Amsterdam are a group of islands just north of Kerguelen. St. Paul is uninhabited, but Île Amsterdam has a population of about thirty researchers.
Crozet Islands is a group of islands south of Madagascar. There are 18 people living there in the winter and 30 people living there in the summer.
The Scattered Islands are a group of islands around the coast of Madagascar. A few of the islands are garrisoned by French troops, most have weather stations on them, and they are all classified as nature reserves.
And then there is Adélie Land, France’s claim on the continent of Antarctica. One of many other claims, from many other countries.
Tokelau, previously known as the Union Islands, is a dependent territory of New Zealand in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is located not far from Niue.
Tokelau has a population of about 1500. Its capital is Nukunonu, and its largest city is Atafu.
Tokelau is a Polynesian word meaning “north wind”.
The Republic of Turkmenistan is said to be one of the world’s most repressive countries. The president, his relatives, and his associates possess unlimited power and exercise total control over all aspects of public life.
Turkmenistan has a population of over 5.500.000 people, but only 5% of them can use the internet. That is over 250.000, so still quite a large amount of people.
The capital is now known as Ashgabat, but it was previously named Poltoratsk.
Tuvalu is a Polynesian island country located in the Pacific Ocean.
It has a population of over 10.000 people, and the capital is called Funafuti.
At its highest, Tuvalu is only 4.6 meters (15 ft) above sea level, so it is especially susceptible to changes in sea levels. As sea levels are continuing to rise due to global climate change, the population of Tuvalu may very well be doomed to evacuating their home.
This is a fate many island and coastal communities are facing. As polar ice and glaciers are melting, sea levels rise, and eventually a large amount of people will be forced to seek refuge in other more in-land communities.
United States Minor Outlying Islands
This is a collection of United States insular areas in the Pacific Ocean and in the Caribbean Sea.
They consist of Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Atoll, Palmyra Atoll, Wake Island, Bajo Nuevo Bank, Serranilla Bank and Navassa Island.
There’s a maximum of 200 non-permanent residents on all these islands put together, so I won’t hold my breath for a visitor from one of them.
Holy See (Vatican City State)
Is there really so much to do in the See of Rome that Pope Francis can’t be bothered to read my blog?
Come on Jorge!
This is a disputed territory on the northwest coast and in the Maghreb region of North and West Africa.
It’s partially controlled by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and partially occupied by neighboring Morocco. So it is possible that visits from this territory would show up as visits from Morocco, but I find it unlikely.
The region has over 500,000 residents, and the largest city is Laayoune (also known as El-Aiun).
So that’s that!
If you are reading this in any of those regions, give me a word about it in the comments down bellow.
In any case, thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day!
If you liked this article, sign up for my monthly newsletter!
At the end of each month, I’ll send you an email with my best articles from that month.