This week I learned that land can be claimed. Yep just like that a person can put a stick into the ground with a note on it that says how much land they claim. As far as I know this can only be done on Bureau of Land Management land, which is our land, the people of the United States.
While hiking in Palomas Gap the other day we found a claim that amounted to a stick in the ground with a tupperware bowl on it that contained a piece of paper with a claim. The person making the claim claimed an old mine and the area around by about 600' in each direction.