What happens to abandoned nations?

When both BoingBoing and Slashdot have breathless writing about the future of a small Pacific island nation, you know something’s up. In this case, the island is Niue. You know, as in .nu, the top level domain of the hip. Well, at least of one hip person, Moxie.

The island leaders, in the aftermath of a cyclone that caused more than $50 million (NZ) in damage, are calling for the island nation to return to New Zealand governance and predicting that the island will eventually be deserted. While this might not seem such a big deal—after all, as the original snarky article in the New Zealand Star Times points out, Niue only has the population of a large secondary school—the island was a favorite of geeks for creating the first national wi-fi grid and for selling their TLD to all comers.

The question is, what happens to all those .nu sites?