Items of Interest: Ep. 15

For the introvert, we sometimes think that, if it were possible, we could go out to the middle of nowhere and stay forever. If only we establish that precedent of self-sufficiency, we could rule our own piece of the planet.

No need to hope anymore.

Turn fantasy into reality.

Items of Interest: Ep. 15


What is a micronation?

A micronation is a self-proclaimed sovereign state. They are often not interfered with by larger governments, but are not recognized as official independent states.

I know what you’re thinking.

Didn’t I see this on an episode of Family Guy?

Yes, but my point is still valid.

Sealand is probably the world’s most well known micronation. The site of Sealand is about 10 km off the coast of England, and was originally a World War II sea fort designed to deter German air raids. Eight shades of awesome.

In 1967, Paddy Roy Bates occupied the sea fort (then called Knock John) and used it to run an off-shore pirate radio station.He and his family have claimed it as an independent sovereign nation, including issuing passports. Bates claimed that the nation was granted de facto statehood when Germany sent a diplomat there, and a 1968 UK court ruling stated that because of its location in international waters, it is outside of British jurisdiction.

This is connected to what is perhaps the most fascinating event in Sealand’s history, which took place in 1978. While Bates was away, Alexander Achenbach, who refers to himself as the Prime Minister of Sealand, along with several German and Dutch compatriots, staged an armed takeover of the facility.

What? Sweet. Let’s fight over a platform. Look at that picture. Was this just a couple of adults playing King of the Hill?

They held Bates’s son, Michael, hostage for several days, later releasing him in the Netherlands. You know, because the Netherlands has the monopoly on the hostage release market. Bates raided Sealand from helicopters. He held Achenbach and the others as prisoners of war, and while the others were released, Achenbach was not. Since he held a Sealand passport, he was charged with treason against the micronation and was held unless he paid a hefty fine. When the British government would not help, Germany sent a diplomat to negotiate his release.

From time to time, rather extreme things like this have happened at Sealand, including an instance in 1990 in which a British ship was fired upon with rifles from Sealand for passing too close and “invading Sealand territory”.

Torrenting gurus The Pirate Bay attempted to buy it in reaction to harsher copyright restrictions in Sweden, its homebase.

If you’re going to go claim sovereignty, please put a little more thought into the name, by the way.

Micronations vary from the neighborhood crackpot to the uber-feminist (I didn’t link to the official site when I saw the “models are over 18” warning) to the guy exploiting the loophole

So, introverts, start looking for those loopholes. When my micronation invades yours…shoot, you’re going to be so surprised.

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