7 Fascinating Facts About Sealand


If you have never heard of Sealand, no one could blame you. The history of this man-made nation is taken too seriously to be a joke, but it is way too funny to be taken seriously. Really, it’s the story of a stubborn man with too much money who decided to start a country. Here are 7 reasons we find Sealand fascinating.

7 Sealand Facts

    1. It is a former naval base. (source) Roughs Tower was built in 1943 as a naval facility, used to defend the United Kingdom from German mine-laying aircraft. After World War II ended there was much less use for it and by 1956 it had been completely abandoned.
    1. Its founder was a pirate radio broadcaster. (source) In 1965, Roughs Tower became a haven for pirate radio broadcasters. In 1967, one of these broadcasters, Paddy Roy Bates, began calling it The Principality of Sealand and declared its independence from the UK due to it technically being in international waters.
    1. Bates drafted a constitution for Sealand, as well as currency, stamps and its very own flag. (source) Passports were also issued until 1997, though this stopped when it was discovered the passports were being used by some for money laundering and drug trafficking.
    1. It experienced a coup. (source) In 1978, a German lawyer named Alexander Achenbach attacked Sealand with the intent of taking Bates’s son Michael hostage. He was unsuccessful, instead allowing himself to be captured and requiring Germany to send a diplomat to negotiate his release.
    1. The Pirate Bay tried to buy it. (source) The Pirate Bay, a Swedish digital content distributer, inquired into purchasing Sealand for its own operations. Bates offered to sell it for €750 Million but no transaction ever occurred.
    1. It has a Guinness World Record. (source) Sealand holds the Guinness World Record for the smallest area claiming nation status. Despite this, no country formally recognizes Sealand as a sovereign state. In 1987, the United Kingdom even expanded its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles, which would include Sealand, however Bates claimed that since he had been visited by a German diplomat prior to this, Sealand was already recognized by Germany as a country and could not be claimed by the United Kingdom.
    1. Sealand has royal titles. (source) Roy Bates considered himself Prince of Sealand, allowing him to bestow royal titles to others. They also sold these titles online. Some well-known celebrities are among those with titles in Sealand, including “Baron” Ed Sheeran.
    1. Sealand participates in sports. (source) Sealand has its own football (soccer) team as well as ultimate Frisbee teams that have played in Ireland, Netherlands and the UK. Sealand hosted a skateboarding event in 2008, sponsored by Red Bull. Sealand also had a representative in the World Cup of Kung Fu in 2007.

Roy Bates died in 2012, leaving Sealand to his son Michael.

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