A Belgian farmer accidentally shrunk the country of France when he moved a stone blocking his tractor

A Belgian farmer had trouble maneuvering his tractor around a dang stone blocking his path, so he did the logical thing and moved it, just 7.5 feet away. Little did he know that by doing so, he changed the border between Belgium and France – giving more land to Belgian (and less to France!).

The stone had been placed as a marker in in 1819, according to CBS, establishing the 390-mile border between the two countries that became official in 1820.

From CBS:

Another person recently walking in the forest noticed the stone had been moved. The history enthusiast knew it wasn't just any stone — it was there to mark the boundary between the two countries.

"He made Belgium bigger and France smaller, it's not a good idea," David Lavaux, mayor of the Belgian village of Erquelinnes, told French TV channel TF1. 

The move could cause a problem for private landowners — and neighboring countries, Lavaux said. But people in both Belgium and France had a good laugh over it. 

"I was happy, my town was bigger," the mayor said, laughing. "But the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc didn't agree."

Belgian authorities plan on simply contacting the farmer and asking him to return the stone – but if he doesn't, the Belgian foreign ministry could open a Franco-Belgian border commission, something that hasn't happened since 1930, according to BBC News. The farmer could also face criminal charges if he doesn't comply.

Top image by Lasse Six / Flickr