The name Sealand. You’re probably thinking something along the lines of an aquarium or an attraction like Jurassic Park. But actually, Sealand is the smallest ‘country’ on earth.
Located off the coast of Sussex, Sealand is based on a decommissioned military fort, used for detecting Nazi invaders during World War 2. It has 22 citizens with its own passports, laws and football team.
Unfortunately for the people of Sealand, the UK doesn’t recognise the tiny nation as a country, instead of defining it as British land when Britain extended its territory in 1987.
The Prince of Sealand, Michael Bates, the highest office in the land doesn’t seem to care whether or not Sealand is recognised by the UK. He says that the country fulfils all the criteria for being a fully fledged nation according to international conventions.
The best part of Sealand’s story though? There was a Coup in 1978, where the then Prince of Sealand’s son was taken hostage by the Prime-Minister and held at ransom for the leadership of the micronation. The UK refused to get involved in the incident, however, Germany sent a diplomat to defuse the situation.
Surprisingly, Sealand does not have any permanent residents. There are currently 5 people residing in Sealand to this date, who maintain the fort, however, many of the citizens of Sealand are English or German. If you really wanted to, you could even apply for citizenship! So, if you fancy yourself as a Prince or Princess, maybe this is the easiest way?