Because of its remoteness, even by Antarctic standards, most of Marie Byrd Land (the portion east of 150°W) has not been claimed by any sovereign nation. Although it isn't a recognised nation, making it by far the largest single unclaimed territory on Earth, with an area of 1 610 000 km² (including Eights Coast, immediately east of Marie Byrd Land). In 1939, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt instructed members of the Antarctic expedition to take steps to claim some of Antarctica as territory. Although this appears to have been done by members of this and subsequent expeditions, these do not have appeared to have been formalized prior to 1959, and the setting up of the Antarctic Treaty System. Some publications in the US have shown this as US territory in the intervening period, and the Defense Department of the US Government has stated that the US has a solid basis for a claim in Antarctica resulting from its activities prior to 1959. The portion west of 150°W is part of Ross Dependency.
Five coastal areas are distinguished, which are listed from west to east:
|No.||Sector||Western Border||Eastern Border|
|Marie Byrd Land||158°00'W||103°24'W|
Byrd Station provided a template for the doomed Antarctic base in the horror movie John Carpenter's The Thing.
In 1998-99, a camp was operated at the Ford Ranges (FRD) in western Marie Byrd Land, supporting a part of a USAP airborne survey intiatated by UCSB and operated by the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics.
In 2004-05, a large camp, Thwaites (THW) was established by the USAP 150 km north of NBY, in order to support a large airborne geophysical survey of eastern Marie Byrd Land by the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics.
In 2006, a major encampment, WAIS Divide (WSD) was established on the divide between the Ross Sea Embayment and the Amundsen Sea Embayment, in easternmost Marie Byrd Land, in order to drill a high resolution ice core over the following three years.