by Jordan G. Teicher
November 18, 2014

from Wired Website




Travis McHenry or Montague Ier,

King of Calsahara




Never heard of,

  • The Imperial Kingdom of Calsahara?

  • The Conch Republic?

  • The Principality of Sealand?

You're not alone.​ 


Léo Delafontaine hadn't either until 2012, when he visited the Republic of Saugeais, a self-proclaimed micronation in eastern France. He's since become fascinated with "countries" unrecognized by world governments and organizations.


His book Micronations​ documents independent states that are just as varied and interesting as their official counterparts.

"Humankind likes discoveries and challenges. One solution is the creation of new countries, but not in order to persecute people or for religious reasons.


The idea, rather, is to create new countries and territories for fun, to make people think, to re-enchant the world in a way," he says via email.

French writer and historian Bruno Fuligni, who wrote the introduction to Micronations, estimates there are more than 400 of these self-proclaimed entities.

Delfontaine visited 12 locations throughout the US, Europe, and Australia.


They included monarchies, republics, "funny dictatorships," and some with no government at all. He earned citizenship in three - the Principality of Sealand, the Principality of Seborga, and the Conch Republic.


The Principality of Hutt River in Australia draws thousands of visitors annually, which is one reason it exists at all. Others serve as political satire. 


The Conch Republic, for example, was created in 1982 after Key West Mayor Dennis Wardlow,

"symbolically began the Conch Republic's Civil Rebellion by breaking a loaf of stale Cuban bread over the head of a man dressed in a U.S. Navy uniform" according to the Conch Republic's Website.



Sir Peter Anderson,

Secretary General of the Conch Republic



Some micronations are easily accessible while others are difficult to get to. 


In Copenhagen, tourists can enter Freetown Christiania on foot, while visitors to the Principality of Sealand, a WWII island fortress six miles off the eastern shores of Britain, have to shell out over $2,000 for transport and a visa.



With a living area of 5,920 square feet,

Sealand boasts multiple bedrooms, a chapel and a prison.



Regardless of their intention, these countries commit:

They have national anthems and flags, passports and coins, militaries and laws.

The Kingdom of Elleore hosts history classes for kids and created its own national sport.

"Most of the people I met were really well educated, curious, ironic and completely aware of what they are doing. They are not crazy or greedy for power. But they like to dress up and make fun of their country of origin," he says.


Frederikke Rose Holm, Julie Holstein, Nanna Gilsgaard,

Christine Barnett and Bolette Winnerskjold Gjaldbæk,

The Butterflies of the Kingdom of Elleore.



Most of these micronations declared "sovereignty" between the 1970s and 1990s.


But there have been some newcomers:

the Imperial Kingdom of Calsahara in southern California declared its sovereignty in 2009.

Delafontaine says most new micronations, like the Kingdom of Talossa, exist primarily online.

"I think that the golden age of micronations is almost over. The famous ones, like the Principality of Hutt River and the Republic of Saugeais, are headed by very old people," he says.


"And after their death, their micronations will disappear with them. Young people interested in micronations don't seem to be interested in claiming a physical territory. They prefer to create new countries online. It's not better or worse, but it's different."


Talossa King Robert I in 1980





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