Interestingly, most people haven’t heard of micro nations, and often confuse them with small countries like Monaco and Luxembourg.
But these are huge compared to these micro nation nations, some of which are as small as a single acre. They are formed for a number of reasons;
The Principality of Outer Baldonia (.00625 of a square mile)
After stumbling across a small island while fishing off the coast of Nova Scotia in Canada, Russel Arudel bought the island, built a small fishing lodge, and began regularly going on drunken weekend getaways to it with his friends. They concocted a constitution during one drinking session, (which mandated fishing and the consumption of rum as time-honored state pastimes), declared themselves an independent state; The Principality of Outer Baldonia.
Government titles only necessitated catching a tuna and paying a small fee, upon which one became a «Prince», and they even developed a currency. They banned taxes and women from the island, and declared that their main export was empty beer bottles.
Baldonia become noticed when Arundel listed his office number in Washington D.C. as that of the Embassy for the Principality. Soon, he and his imaginary country were being invited to state functions, and Baldonia was even supposedly mistakenly asked to join the United Nations.
The Dominion of Melchizedek (14 square miles)
Formed in 1986 by Evan Pedley and his son Mark Logan Pedley, they used the claim of sovereignty as a shield, and they went ahead to establish this South Pacific island as a tax-free haven and a center for fraud and phony banks.
The nation even once issued passports for $10,000 a piece. It also sold fake business licenses that were used by conmen. Although the country has been blasted as a sham by media and authorities, it is yet to be shutdown. It runs a website and readily accepts applications for citizenship, free of charge. In 1995, it briefly threatened France with nuclear war.
Frestonia (.0028 of a square mile)
In the late 70s, threatened with eviction, a group of squatters on Freston road, Notting Hill region of London decided to declare itself independent from the rest of Britain. The residents banded together and voted to declare themselves and independent nation, Frestonia, on Halloween night 1977. They applied for induction into the United Nations, warning that peacekeeping troops would be needed if the council tried to evict them by force.
Following a public inquiry the micro nation was given the right to exist. The residents soon created their own newspaper, postage stamps and three national anthems. They lost their freedom from the British government when they negotiated an agreement with the city t o help in rebuilding the crumbling district.
Hutt River Province (28.9 square miles)
This is the only micro nation that has ever been recognized by the country from which it broke.
Its history dates back to 1970, when Leonard Casley, a farmer, got into a dispute with government officials over wheat quotas. When no reasonable compromise could be reached, Casley resorted to a loophole in British law and declared that he and his 75 square km property had seceded from the state of Western Australia.
A series of errors and inaction from the government led to Casley’s claim receiving an uncommon amount of legitimacy, and when he was threatened with prosecution he simply declared himself “His Royal Highness, Prince Leonard of Hutt,” in order to take advantage of ancient law that made monarchs immune to arrest. Price Leonard immediately drafted a bill of rights, a flag, and a currency called the Hutt River Dollar. The nation has now become a tourist destination, and the Prince is now over 80 years old.
The Principality of Sealand (.0002 of a square mile)
This is perhaps the most famous of all micro nations. The Principality of Sealand is a micro nation built on an abandoned WWII sea fort off the coast of Britain.
It was started in 1967, when famed pirate radio broadcaster Paddy Roy Bates occupied the platform and began using it as hub for his station “Radio Essex.” Bates began calling the fort “Sealand,” and by 1975 he had come up with a flag, a national anthem, a currency, and even passports.
Sealand gained a remarkably high profile in the international community, if only for its readiness to use force, which became apparent in 1968, when Bates’ son Michael used a rifle to fire on a British vessel that had entered Sealand’s “territorial waters”. He was handed a weapons charge, but managed to dodge it in court because Sealand was far enough off the coast that it was outside of British jurisdiction.
In 1975, when a German citizen briefly claimed the platform and he was consequently arrested and imprisoned by the Bates, Germany did send a representative to the fort. But no country has admitted to recognizing Sealand as a sovereign nation. Now the island operates as a tourist destination, and an offshore data hosting facility because of its lack of laws and regulations.
Other micro nations include: (Serboga, 4 square miles in Italy), Talossa (exists only on paper, and through the internet), The Republic of Minerva (4 square miles, south pacific ocean), The Kingdom of Redonda (.78 of a square mile, carribean islands), Ladonia (.386 of a square miles