On January 25th, 2008, online news and humour site Cracked.com posted a feature article on six micronations, including the Empire. The feature prompted the single largest upsurge in traffic since the New York Times article some years previously. Each nation had several images attached; for reasons of bandwidth and copyright, only those images related to the Empire are reprinted here.
Do you ever get the urge to just start your own country, with your own damned rules?
Well, some people actually do it. All it takes is a small, uninhabited piece of land you can claim (though it helps to also be completely insane, or to have balls the size of watermelons).
Location: This little country is located in an abandoned World War II sea fort, called Fort Roughs. It's six miles off the coast of Suffolk, England. The habitable area is just what you see in the picture, but they claim 12 sea miles around the place.
The country: Paddy Roy Bates was a man with a dream. His dream did not involve a naked Evangeline Lily and the Swedish chef from The Muppets, as ours do, but instead involved having his own pirate radio station. So, he took over Rough Towers, an abandoned fort which is beyond UK territorial waters. Then he forgot all about pirate radios and declared the place to be his own country.
Shortly after Roy moved in, Ronan O'Rahilly, who had claimed Rough Towers before Roy, sent his men on a boat to kick Roy out. Roy, a firm believer of "Finders Keepers," managed to defend his little kingdom with, according to Wikipedia, petrol bombs, gunfire and something scientists call "lunatic strength."
In 1968, the Royal Navy entered Sealand's waters to fix a navigational buoy. Roy was going to have none of that shit. Michael, Roy's son, fired warning shots at the workmen. Here's our dramatic reenactment:
Workman 1: "Fancy a beer after fixing this buoy?"
Workman 2: "There is some bloke in that abandoned sea fort, look!"
Workman 1: "I wonder what he is doing up there. Is that a bloody gun?"
*BANG * BANG * BANG*
Workman2: "That cunt is mental, run!"
Understandably, Roy's royal presence was summoned to court in England to figure out what the hell that was all about. The courts ruled that Sealand was not part of England and Roy could do whatever he wanted there. Mighty England had been defeated by a man and his dream. And his petrol bombs and lunatic strength.
At this point you have to think only a unique type of moron would dare to mess with Roy. Meet Alexander G. Achenbach, prime minister of Sealand, who revolted and took Michael as his hostage. Oh, shit! Suffice to say, Alexander's coup ended with Roy coming back in his helicopter with a crack team of mercenaries. He took over the island and kicked all the idiots out. There is not much information about Roy's mercenaries, but we like to think they were Vietnam veterans on the run from the law for a crime they didn't commit.
Fun Fact: Alexander Achenbach and his exiled government has this website where they complain about it and presumably await the day they can seize power once again.
The Kingdom of Redonda
Location: A tiny island southwest of Antigua, only one square mile in size.
Population: Zero--even the kings (yes, four of them) of Redonda prefer to live elsewhere. The only beings of notice on the island are seagulls and a feral flock of goats; and the goats only stay because they can't build boats to escape.
The country: Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1493 and named it Santa Maria la Redonda (meaning "Saint Mary the round") and that's all we know before the history of this proud uninhabited nation turns into legend, fiction and drunken lies. Back in Queen Victoria's days, a guy named Matthew Dowdy Shiell claimed himself as king. Over the generations the kingship was given away and sold several times to people who loved the idea of putting "King" on their business card.
Right now, four men claim to be the rightful king of this shitty island.You may think we say "shitty" as an insult, in which case you are half right, because it is also an accurate description. It's biggest export is shit (Guano, to be exact). Over 7,000 tons of shit came out of Redonda every year until operations ended in World War I.
Fun Fact: For 35 US dollars you can join King Robert's navy and help him defend the island and its shit from evil invaders. It's up to you if you want to give the guy $35 for the honor of deterring imaginary threats to an island of shit. You must provide your own boat.
Recently, the Wellington Arms Pub in Southampton, England, attempted to declare themselves an embassy of the Kingdom of Redonda, in order to gain diplomatic immunity from a nation wide ban on smoking. Sadly, they did not get this status. Prime Minister Goat declared "Baaaaaaaah" when reached for comments and tried to eat the microphone.
Location: About 85 acres somewhere in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The country: Christiania was founded in 1971 when five people took over an abandoned military installation as a form of protest against the Danish government, which was blamed for the lack of affordable housing at the time. While we were not there, we can calculate that at least four of them thought of using the phrase "Killing two birds with one stone," while discussing the idea (or as they say in Denmark, "Killing two birds with one stone." Only they in Danish).
Since then, more people have moved in and the place has been going by its own rules under the principles of anarchy, communism and the hippie movement--except for the time when Denmark decided to use their rules on them. On those occasions, they live under the principles of being hit in the head with a big stick by a policeman. The national pastime is yoga, although we hear the second most popular pastime, checking out movies that are more fun to watch while stoned, is quickly gaining popularity.
The primary export is drugs, making Christiania a fun-sized version of Colombia but without the perpetual state of civil war... unless you count the Danish police doing raids once in a while, or the occasional drug-related murder. OK, so it's very much like Colombia. The drug of choice is pot, though, and hard drugs like heroin and cocaine are illegal, because drug overdose was their version of the black plague for a while there.
Uncountable police raids and street gangs trying to take over the pot market have plagued Christiania since its beginnings, but nothing can compare to the riots that occurred in 2007 when the police demolished a building in Christiania. Christianites, fearing the police might like it too much and decide to go knocking down buildings like a drunken Godzilla, counterattacked with fireworks, Molotov cocktails and a bucket full of piss and feces that ended up on the head of the police commander.
Fun Fact: Christiania does have a flag, but it doesn't have a coat of arms, so we hope they like the one we made up for them up there. The yellow represents the piss in the bucket, the pot represents the pot, and the light blue looked pretty, so we put it there.
Location: It's a group of small islands in the English Channel, about three miles long and a half-mile wide.
Population: 600ish, give or take.
The country: Imagine one day that your dog returns home with a cat on a leash, and the cat has a little mouse on a leash too. Let's all imagine that, because it's really, really cute when you think about it. Oh, before we forget, Sark is the mouse. Sark is a dependency of the Bailiwick of Guernsey (another place you know nothing about), which in turn is a dependency of England (which you might have heard of), which in turn is part of the United Kingdom (you might know it as UK), even though Guernsey and Sark are not part of the UK and we have no clue how that works.
Sark has been many things since the 13th century: a haven for pirates, a monastic community, and then a haven for pirates again. Now that we think about it, that's not many things. Anyway, Queen Elizabeth I, tired of pirates, allowed 40 families to move onto the islands on the condition that they would stab any idiot in the balls who uttered "YARRRR!" even if he was just doing it ironically.
Sark and the rest of Guernsey did not do very well in WWII, when the Germans took over the whole place. Although, the ruler of Sark at the time demanded the Germans to sign in as visitors and they did. But, the people of Sark showed their bravery in 1991 when the French attacked them. And by "the French" we mean unemployed French nuclear physicist Andre Gardes, who tried to take over the island by himself with an automatic weapon. The invasion ended when the local constable approached him and asked him how his awesome gun worked. Andre began to show him and that's when the fire brigade jumped from behind.
Fun Fact: Sark is one of the last feudal countries in Europe, and some of its laws seem to come from the medieval guide to complete nuttery. For instance: only the Seigneur of Sark is allowed to keep pigeons or an unspayed bitch, newcomers to the island cannot live in houses built before 1976 and divorce is illegal. Although, there have been some advances. The people no longer need the seigneur's permission to get married, the annual payment of a live chicken to the seigneur is now optional yet still delicious, and women can inherit land since 1999.
The Aerican Empire
Location: Here, there and everywhere. The Aerican Empire claims the following territories:
*A house in Montreal that doubles as the empire's capital and embassy to the rest of the world.
*A square kilometer of Australia called Chompsville and an adjacent territory called Psyche.
*An island in New Zealand called Retsaot.
*One square mile of the surface of planet Mars.
*The northern half of ex-planet Pluto.
*A cow pasture in the American Midwest that's location nobody seems quite sure of.
*The planet Verden, which doesn't exist.
The country: You may think this entire empire is just a joke or started as one, and that's because you did not kill your brain by drinking lead paint when you were a baby (congratulations, by the way). The empire was founded in 1987 by the current Emperor, Eric Lis, and some of his pals who were all five-years-old at the time. In its humble, intergalactic beginnings the empire was just a joke between friends but, in our globalized, internet-connected world, crazy people inspire other people and that's how thing like the furries and bukkake got rolling. An older Emperor Eric learned about micronations like Sealand and Christiania and said "Hey! I can do that too, and without leaving home or getting my own land!" One website later, citizens began to join the made up interplanetary empire.
Emperor Eric Lis, who couldn't find a friend who had a camera with a flash.
Fun Fact: The national religion is Silinism, the worship of the Great Penguin, where humor is considered sacred. And may the Great Penguin help us, it actually has serious practitioners.
The Republic of Molossia
Location: Somewhere around Dayton, Nevada. It also has a colony in Southern California and a protectorate in the north east of the US, about 14 acres total.
The country: According to them, they are a nation as recognized in the Montevideo convention. According to the state of Nevada, "No, no you're not."
Molossia began as the Grand Republic of Vuldstein, back in 1977. James Spielman was crowned King and Kevin Baugh was declared Prime Minister. Back then Molossia didn't have any territory or much to do so the King got bored and probably decided to go for saner hobbies than starting his own nation. Prime Minister Baugh, on the other hand, carried on. In 1998 land was purchased in Nevada and finally Molossia had some territory to call its own. Kevin Baugh then declared himself dictator and rules over his family with an iron fist; so he is like your dad, but with a fancy uniform.
Molossia has its own online store. We have no clue if the Authentic Molossian Pedigreed Pet Rocks are their biggest seller, but if they are, they should be ashamed of themselves. You can also purchase Molossian money, called Valora, which is linked in value to Pillsbury cookie dough. The coins look like repainted poker chips, so if you want to waste your money, Molossia is the place!
The Molossian homepage has a very detailed account of the mock war they had with the neighbor micronation of Mustachistan, but intentionally stupid wars are no fun, so we are going to talk about the Dead Dog War.
In 1999, some people, unaware of what they were getting into, buried their dead dog in Molossian territory. Baugh quickly mobilized his army (his thirteen-year-old son), who annoyed the intruders until they removed their dead dog and buried it elsewhere. And they should consider themselves lucky. If they had tried to give the dog a Viking funeral near Sealand, Roy would have mobilized General Pain and Major Trouble, which is what he calls his fists, right into their faces and buried the dog, Viking ship and all, up their asses, because that's how Roy rolls.
Fun Fact: Molossia has a space program, and by that we mean they have a store-bought telescope and some toy rockets with a camera attached to them. We have to admit that looks like fun.
Back to the Aerica main page Back to the Museum!