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Strange Micronations, Past and Present

photo by Lance McCord via Flickr 

If someone told you they hail from a nation comprised of just 200 people, would you believe them?

What if they told you that they’re from the Aerican Empire (yes, that’s America without the M), or that their national flag bears a large yellow smiley face?

If none of these places or traits ring a bell, that’s because the nations described above are classified as micronations, and can be as small or as outlandish as their national laws will allow. By definition, micronations are unrecognized states that claim to be independent of their encompassing governments–as one might imagine, they are often times quite bizarre. The motivation behind creating micronations may vary, from activism, to governmental defiance, or just as plain old joke.

Below are some of the world’s strangest micronations to ever exist. Pay close attention or you might miss them.

Aerican Empire

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Founded: 1987

As far as micronations go, it may be safe to say that the Aerican Empire, or Aerica, are having the most fun. Founded by now Aerican Emperor Eric Lis, who at the time of Aerica’s inception was only 5 years old, the country now boasts a total population of 233 people.

Aerican territories include plots on different planets like pluto and venus, a kilometer of land in Australia, and a small house-sized area in Montreal Canada, aptly named “Earth.” Forewarning: If you plan on visiting Aerica you may want to exchange your currency–Aerica only deals in Mu and Solari.

For more about Aerica, click here.

Glacier Republic

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Founded: 2014

Using legal loopholes surrounding the Andes region between Chile and Argentina, the Glacier Republic was created through a movement by the environmental group Greenpeace to protest the construction of mining corporations on and around the Andes glaciers. In just under two weeks the Glacier Republic accrued over 40,000 citizens intent on saving Chile’s glaciers, which account for a whopping 82 percent of South America’s total glaciers.

The objectives of the Glacier Republic, so far, has been successful since the Canadian company Barrick Gold which planned to start construction on Chile’s glaciers said it would temporarily stop the project after a public backlash.

Dominion of British West Florida

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Founded: 2005

In an attempt to revive the former colony of West Florida, which is now divided into the states of Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, this micronation was founded.

The dominion and its leader, who identifies only as Robert VII, Duke of Florida, claim that the annexation of West Florida was illegal, and that control should have rightfully been defaulted to the U.K. following the removal of Charles the IV. This micronation has even gone as far as to mint its own coins.

Republic of Rose Island

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Founded: 1967

This now defunct micronation was founded by Italian engineer Giorgio Rosa off the coast of Rimini Italy. Built on a 4,300 sq. foot platform in the middle of the Adriatic Sea, the “sovereign nation” was complete with a bar, restaurant, and was even pushing for its own national currency and postcards.

Shortly after its construction as Rose Island began to attract tourism, the “island” was dismantled using explosives by the Italian government. Officials claimed that Rosa was attempting to subvert Italy’s homeland tourism, and Rosa declared the seizure “the only war Italy has ever won.”

Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands

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Founded: 2004

As one might assume from the name, The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands is a micronation founded specifically for those of the LGBT community. Its origins are steeped in protest against Australia’s refusal to allow same-sex marriages.

Like other other micronations, the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom sells its own stamps and coins in an effort to fund its operations. Dale the I–formerly native Australian Dale Anderson–is at the helm of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom as the micronation’s monarch.

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James Pero