In order to start a country there are several things you need. First and foremost would be territory. After that you probably want some recognition, maybe from the United Nations. If you don’t manage to get that then you fall into a category of states known as micronations. Some are established as jokes, some out of protest, and some for the legitimate purpose of independence. Either way these are the 25 most uniquely interesting micronations on the planet.
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The Grand Duchy of Westarctica
In 2001 when Travis McHenry saw that there was an unclaimed chunk of Antarctic territory named Marie Byrd Land he seized the opportunity to become royalty. So far though, all that his country has managed to produce is a few stamps.
Founded to comically protest the US checkpoint between the Florida Keys and the mainland, the mayor of Key West declared war on the United States but then immediately surrendered and applied for 1 billion dollars of foreign aid. The protest was successful.
Constructed in 1968 by Italian architect Giorgio Rosa, this platform off the Italian coast was meant to be a tourist spot but as soon as it was constructed Rosa declared sovereignty. Unfortunately the Italian government thought he might try to avoid taxes so the navy blew it up
Located on an abandoned military base in Copenhagen this small town of hippies and free thinkers considers itself to be a shining example of anarchy as a legitimate form of government.
Started by a band of shipwrecked mutineers in the 1700’s this island has a population of only several hundred. Although it is not considered a nation some people consider it the smallest democracy in the world (it is a British Overseas Territory).
When the Israeli government tried to bulldoze his home but was stopped by a court, Eli Avivi started this micronation that is now actually recognized by the Israel Ministry of Tourism.
Started by Kevin Baugh in 1977 this micronation can be found in the middle of Nevada and has been described as a tourist trap. Supposedly however, you need your passport to get through the door.
Republic of Minerva
Established by real estate millionaire Michael Oliver, he decided to pour sand into the Minerva reef between Tonga and New Zealand until he had enough land to hoist a flag. Unfortunately though, Tongan troops came and tore it down.
Principality of Sealand
It began as an anti aircraft platform during WWII. In 1967 Pirate radio broadcaster Paddy Bates setup shop there and got arrested for shooting at a nearby work crew. Because the platform was in international waters however, he was acquitted. Seizing the opportunity he established it as a sovereign nation with one export – pirate radio broadcasts.
Claiming a square km of Australia, a house sized lot in Montreal, a colony on Mars, and the northern hemisphere of Pluto, this small micronation was started by Montreal resident Eric Lis. It’s name is a pun on the term American Empire.
Principality of Hutt River
One of the more famous micronations on our list, wheat farmer Leonard Castle started this small country in the middle of Australia as a response to quotas telling him he couldn’t sell all of his grain. Today it has 18,000 citizens living abroad.
Dominion of Melchizedek
Claiming part of Antarctica and some random islands, this micronation is involved in numerous financial schemes and has been described as “the most diabolical international scam ever devised in recent years.”
Principality of Seborga
Due to what has been labeled some sort of clerical error, the existence of this small town in Northwest Italy has been omitted from nearly every political treaty and document for the past thousand years which led the residents to claim sovereign status and at the very least boost their tourism.
Kingdom of EnenKio
Based on the US territory of Wake Island, a small separatist group seeks recognition as a Micronesian state. Although their bid has been unsuccessful they have at least managed to set up a website.
When this small Italian village was told that it would have to merge with a neighboring village to cut administrative costs, the villagers instead decided on independence. So far it has printed its own currency, established a coat of arms, and sought to ratify a constitution.
Principality of Wy
This tongue in cheek Australian micronation was established by Paul Deprat after a dispute with the local council over building a driveway on his property.
Based in the rural New Zealand town of the same name, this micronation/publicity-stunt had a goat as its President.
Free Republic of Wendland
This protest camp of 5000 German anti-nuclear activists was brought to an end by the police after one month
In 1997 Greenpeace occupied the uninhabited North Atlantic island of Rockall and established this micronation as a publicity stunt.
Kingdom of Wallachia
This small micronation was started on a corner of the Czech Republic with the intention of attracting tourists. The gimmick worked although there has been some political infighting. Apparently the appointed king started taking his job too seriously and demanded a cut of the profits.
North Dumpling Island
Just off the coast of Connecticut, this island was bought by Dean Kamen. When he tried to build a wind turbine he was denied permission so he joked that he was seceding from the US. Later he apparently signed a non-aggression pact with his friend then-President George W. Bush.
Republic of Morac-Songhrati-Meads
Founded on the Spratly Islands by British Naval Captain James Meads in the 1870s, through World War 2 this place has been little more than a battlefield between China, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Recently Mead’s descendants even sued the US for “unfair competition, harassment, and sabotage.”
Kingdom of Lovely
This internet-based micronation was part of the TV documentary “How To Start Your Own Country”. Although its creator, comedian Danny Wallace, petitioned the UN for recognition, a lack of independent territory prevented his success.
When Austrian authorities disagreed with Edwin Lipburger’s plan to build a ball shaped house in the lower Austrian countryside he declared independence. The ball was moved to a park in Vienna by the authorities and surrounded with barbed wire fence. Edwin then refused to pay taxes afterwhich only a pardon by the Austrian President saved him from jail.
This defunct micronation actually claimed all of outer space and wrote letters of complaint to the US and Russian government when they began flying high altitude aircraft.