To ensure an equal right to internet hosting for the world, ICANN has issued top level domains to every registered country which has an official ISO code assignment. As we discovered in our previous article about TLDs, some of these countries have a net population of zero, making for some very, very rare domain names. Here are three TLDs you may occasionally encounter.
.cc – Cocos Island
A UNESCO world heritage site located off the shore of Costa Rica. Cocos Island has a single permanent ranger station and no native population at all, the last attempt at settling there was in 1908. Cocos Island has long been associated with buried pirate treasure – much more so than websites and a digital economy.
.va – Vatican City
The smallest nation on Earth and seat of the Catholic church, the Vatican City measures 110 acres located in Rome, Italy. It is the 6th most densely populated nation however, despite having a population of just 839 people including the Pope himself. The Vatican does make good use of its TLD, hosting dozens of websites and email addresses. The Pope has also recently taken to Twitter under the handle @pontifex.
.nu – Niue
An often-forgotten outpost of the British Commonwealth, Niue is located in the Pacific Ocean, 1500 miles northeast of New Zealand. In 2003 Niue became the world’s first “Wi-Fi nation”, providing free Internet access to all 1400 residents and establishing them as genuine, active users of the world wide web.
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