Looking for some interesting places to go to this summer? How about visiting the “infamous” Principality of Sealand or maybe the “exotic” Principality of Wy? Never heard of these places? Well there is a good a reason because they're not really countries they're micronations! A micronation is defined as an entity existing only on the internet or within the private property of its members claiming sovereign status as an independent nation but unrecognized by real nations. In other words, they're wannabe countries.
There are hundreds of micronations around the world and most of them are big tourist attractions. A majority of them also have horribly designed websites. They are physical proof that literally anyone can have a website or apparently, a country. Here is a list of eight famous “countries”.
The Principality of Sealand
One of the most popular micronations is the Principality of Sealand. It’s located off the coast of England. It used to be a World War II base designed to defend against German aircrafts. Then Paddy Roy Bates, a pirate radio caster, founded Sealand in 1967. Bates originally used the base as a broadcasting station because it was in international waters where the authorities couldn't reach him. He would eventually claim independence from England and make a flag, stamps, currency, and a national anthem for his “country”.
Sealand has a very strong Internet presence and most of its “citizens” only exist online. Id cards, stamps, and other “official” documents are available for purchase on Sealand’s website so you too can become a citizen of Sealand. You can also become a Count or a Countess of Sealand, for only £199.99 (about $341 USD)! Now, you can brag to your friends that you’re a noble of a random piece of land in the middle of the ocean.
Republic of Kugelmugel
Even smaller than Sealand is the Republic of Kugelmugel. The entire country is a sphere shaped house surrounded by a small fence. It can be found in an amusement park in Vienna, Austria. The story of how it was founded is as peculiar as the “country” itself. Artist, Edwin Lipburger, created it in 1984 but his disputes with the Austrian government over building permits put him in a bind. He declared independence, made his own stamps, and refused to pay taxes to the Austrian government. Thousands of other “citizens” joined the rebellion. In other words, Kugelmugel was founded so people could try and get out of paying taxes.
Today, Kugelmugel’s unique history and design make it a popular tourist attraction in Austria.
Principality of Wy
Also established by artists with strange government disputes, is the Principality of Wy, located in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia. The Principality consists of only the Delprat family. The Delprats seceded from the Australian government after a long dispute over building a driveway in the Delprats home. In 2004 the dispute remained unresolved so Prince Paul Delprat formally presented a declaration of independence to the mayor of Mosman, in full regal clothing. The secession was so bazaar, it got full press coverage in Australia and is still an odd news topic today.
What’s interesting about Wy, is its contribution to the arts. There are many paintings and statues inspired by the country and Prince Paul himself has contributed a number of paintings. You can view some of these art works in the gallery page of Wy’s website. Believe or not, the paintings are actually very beautiful.
The Conch Republic
One of the many micronations in the US' own backyard is the Conch Republic. Conveniently located in the Florida Keys, the Conch Republic now serves as a tourist attraction more than anything. However, it was founded on a legitimate concern after the US Border Control set up a checkpoint that stalled citizen’s commute and detracted from tourism, which is how Florida makes most of its money. Deciding not to tolerate such treatment they seceded from the government and has served as a tourist attraction for the Key West ever since. The country views its status as a micronation very humorously, as its two motto's are “We seceded where others failed” and “The mitigation of world tension through the exercise of humor.”
Other than its history, the Conch Republic is known for its beautiful ocean views and delicious seafood restaurants. On their website you can purchase an official Conch Republic passport, now available en español. They claim their passports saved one man’s life in Guatemala from armed revolutionaries. Though we don’t recommend trying to travel with them.
Republic of Molossia
Another micronation in the US is the strange Republic of Molossia. If you view its website you’ll think it's a third world country when actually it's in Dayton, Nevada. Molossia was formed in 1999 by President Kevin Baugh, as part of his childhood dream to establish a made believe land.
The small town has some interesting architecture and beautiful desert valley views. It is completely run by president Baugh himself and he will personally show you around his country if you decide to visit. Be warned that items such as tobacco and florescent light blubs are not allowed in Molossia.
Currently, the country claims to be at war with East Germany but that is extremely unlikely. Baugh petition for formal recognition from the US government in 2012 but he sadly didn’t get enough signatures.You can purchase an autograph picture of President Baugh and official Supremo Soap on Molossia’s website.
The Other World Kingdom
Probably the most bazaar of the mirconations is the Other World Kingdom, formerly located in the Czech Republic. This kingdom is ruled entirely by women and they have the right to own male slaves. In short, it’s a country based on the idea of Amazon fetishes or so they like to believe. Queen Patricia founded the kingdom in 1996 but in 2008 the land went up for sale and now only exists as an online club.
Before the land was put up for sale, the building was an ideal place for a luxury resort. It is complete with a swimming pool, a gym, a banquet hall, a torture chamber, and of course a prison basement. No resort is complete without a prison basement. People have actually stayed at the Other World Kingdom, based on the reviews on their Facebook page. Whether these people are real or not remains unclear.
Principality of Seborga
Another popular micronation is the Principality of Seborga, a small town in Italy located near the French border. Prince Giorgio Carbone founded the country in 1963 after he claimed that Seborga was never part of the Italian nation. The citizens agreed and elected Carbone as Prince, where he immediately made a coat of arms, currency, an anthem, license plates, and stamps. Surprisingly, the Italian government didn’t seem to care about Seborga's independence or the claims they made about its “vast” history. They just let them have their country.
Sadly, Prince Giorgio died in 2009 but Seborga has continued its status as a nation and is still a popular tourist attraction. It has beautiful architecture and scenery. There are even rumors that the Holy Grail can found in this “country”.
Principality of Hutt River
Another Australian micronation run by men in strange clothes is the Hutt River. Just like Wy, this country was founded based on a government dispute, this time it was over grain quotes. Farmer Leonard Casley claimed that the quotes were unfair and when his claims went unresolved, he seceded and became Prince Leonard of the Principality of Hutt River.
The Hutt River is an interesting place to go camping if you're looking for a unique place to stay in the land down under. Prince Leonard’s family will be happy to show you around and you even can purchase citizenship and currency as a souvenir. You can also take a picture by a sculpture of Prince Leonard’s head.