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Why .hm? What is .hm?

This entry was posted by on Tuesday, 12 April, 2005 at

A lot of people ask me why I chose the “.HM” domain, and what country owns that top domain.

Well, I will answer that today, and also give you some extra information you didn’t even ask for!! 😛

First of all, when I was going to register our family domain a few years ago (can’t remember when it was – probably 5 years ago or so) I was of course first aiming for one of the three “big” top domains, i.e. .COM, .ORG, or .NET. Unfortunately none of those were available (the .NET one was registered the day before I checked!!! :crazy: ) so I had to search for alternative ones. At that time, only organizations and companies were allowed to register .SE domains so that was out of the question; further, the “hip” domain in Sweden at that time was .NU since “nu” means “now” in Sweden. Well, never being one to fit in with the crowd, I immediately ruled out .NU because it was too popular!

So I found a top domain search engine which displayed all available top domains (that allowed registering of non-citizens) and came by the most unusual one I’ve seen…… .HM !! It was available for anyone to register and it was cheap (at that time, $19 per year – now it’s at $35 but still not bad).

So which country does .HM belong to?

It belongs to Heard and McDonald Islands which is, according to the CIA Factbook, a group of “uninhabitated, barren, sub-Antarctic islands” which “were transferred from the UK to Australia in 1947.” The group consists of four main islands: Heard, McDonald, Shag, and Flat Island. Heard is by far the biggest. In total the size is roughly 412 square kilometers. It is populated mostly by seals and birds, and has been classified as a nature preserve! (no wonder they allow non-citizens to register…not many seals are interested in hosting a site on the Internet)

So where are these islands? About two-thirds of the way from Madagascar to Antarctica! The climate is arctic and the land is mainly ice and tundra. There is an active volcano named “Mawson Peak” on Heard Island.

So there you have it!!!

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