Fun Size Countries: The Insane Histories of the World's 6 Tiniest Nations

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).


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.

Supposedly, 27. We can't see how they'd fit, though.

Official site:

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.

Roy, his family, and his helicopter of doom.

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?"
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

A tiny island southwest of Antigua, only one square mile in size.

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.

Official site:
As a part of the power struggle over this tiny piece of worthless land, the four "kings" have each made their own site:

The Redonda Foundation -- operated by King Leo I.
Kingdom of Redonda -- operated by King Robert aka "Bob the Bald".
Javier Marias' site--operated by King Javier.

Actually, the other self-proclaimed king, Max Legget, has not bothered to make his own website yet, which probably disqualifies him for the throne.

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.

King Bob the Bald, and his bald spot

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 (source: Wikipedia).

Freetown Christiania

About 85 acres somewhere in Copenhagen, Denmark.


Official site:

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.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

To turn on reply notifications, click here


The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!