Meet Sealand, the smallest country in the world [video]
In his book Utopia (published in 1516) Thomas Morus made a serious critique of the feudal system, as well as social injustices, and founded the term utopia (from the Greek ohí = no; topos = place) to celebrate perfect, flawless territory, far from the rulers of power and corrupt politics.
Possibly inspired by Morus, troublemaker Englishman Roy Bates also created his own utopia, not in the form of a book but a territory of his own. The guy had a brave idea and decided to found a country - yes, that's right - the illustrious Principality of Sealand. The place is known to have only 22 inhabitants and a territory of only one and a half kilometers, being considered the smallest country in the world!
There is not even a grain on land, but nothing more than an ancient concrete and steel platform that served as a naval base, erected in the waters of south-east England (51 ° 53'40 "N, 1 ° 28'57" And if you want to check the location on Google Maps or Earth), it was abandoned shortly after the end of World War II.
Sealand was once called “Rough Towers”, acting as a maritime defense base against German attacks, consisting of two large towers with capacity for 200 soldiers. In addition, you can only get there by helicopter, because the violent waters do not provide any security for boats trying to get closer. Check out a brief documentary about the place:
It all began when Roy Bates, a former British Royal Navy infant, took his wife and children to the bizarre refuge during a romantic and familiar Christmas night in 1966. About six months later, the former pirate amateur radio proclaimed himself a prince. of Sealand and, as he had no opposition, became the absolute Monarch of the territory.
Once officially installed on the platform, King Roy decided to found his own country after discovering that a London court did not authorize his eviction from the site, as it was in international waters, thus beyond the reach of British law. But he went further: he consulted lawyers and painted the name Sealand on a zinc plate beside the platform, making his country official.
The Monarchy Bates
In mid-1967, King Roy elected his wife Joan as official princess of Sealand, his sons (Michael and Penelope) as little princes, and even presented his country's flag and definitive coat of arms with the motto “E mare, libertas”. ”(“ From the sea, freedom ”).
In 1975, he resolved to write the Sealand Constitution, minted coins, issued stamps and passports, ensuring that his territory was recognized as a legitimate nation. Not happy in 2005, Bates asked Slovak Symphony Orchestra Radio to create the national anthem of the place, which you can hear below:
In August 1978, Alexander Achenbach, who bought a Sealand passport by mail and declared himself prime minister of micronation, took advantage that Bates was in England with his wife and assembled a group of German and Dutch mercenaries, raiding the Sealand platform. On this occasion Prince Michael was taken hostage and could do nothing to prevent the invasion.
Well, Roy Bates has returned to his country and mysteriously disarmed the whole gang, condemning the guys to pay a $ 35, 000 debt, a fact that no one can explain right now, which has led many people to suspect a possible setup - attitude normal for many heads of state around the world.
The governments of the Netherlands and Germany even asked England for the release of the invaders, but the English claimed no power over Sealand. However, of course the end of this mess ended in pizza - for a change - and the guys got loose. As a result, Achenbach and Gernot Pütz, who participated in the invasion, returned to their home country (Germany) as exiles, leaders of the SRG (Rebellious Government of Sealand).
Johannes Seiger - appointed by Achenbach as his official successor in the movement - still fights on the web today for recognition of the invading group as legitimate owners of the smallest country in the world.
How are you today?
Unfortunately, the platform caught fire in 2006 due to a short circuit in the old diesel-powered power generator. The problem has been solved, but the financial problems continue to deteriorate the small place, mainly due to the extravagance and lack of organization of its owner, the illustrious king Roy.
After Bates had to return to England for Alzheimer's disease, his son, Prince Michael, took over. As early as 2007, Megaupload (a popular pirate site) was banned from Sweden and its owner, Kim Dotcom, tried to buy Sealand to host its servers, but the idea didn't pay off.
Serious negotiation is currently under way for the site to become a casino headquarters, as gambling is illegal in Britain. Moreover, to this day the territory is not officially recognized as a country by England or Germany. If you want, you can follow the news and news of the country on the official website of Sealand.
And you, reader, know other micronations scattered around the globe? Be sure to share your information with us in the comments below.