World's Smallest Country: The Principality of Sealand

Sealand Coat of Arms
Sealand Coat of Arms

The Principality of Sealand

The world's smallest country isn't the Vatican City, it is in fact the independent Principality of Sealand located off the coast of England. The country is essentially an old World War II platform that became inhabited by the self proclaimed Prince Roy of Sealand (Paddy Roy Bates). He bought the platform in the 60s and turned it into his home for the last forty years. In the mid 70s he won the right to declare the property country status, citing that it is technically in international waters.

Tourists wanting to visit the country will have to have their passports ready since they will be leaving the boundaries of Great Britain. The only safe way in and out of Sealand out is by helicopter and you'll have to get permission from Prince Roy before going.

Map of Sealand
Map of Sealand

Sealand's Fire

In 2006, Sealand experienced a fire that quickly consumed the deck. Luckly no one was hurt and the citizens were safely evacuated from the country by the Royal Air Force. Since then, Prince Roy and his wife decided to do what most Royal families do and retire in a foreign country, England. After the move Prince Roy commissioned the Church and East Ltd. with the task of rebuilding their country. The Church and East Ltd. have said that the building is nearly complete and that the country can soon be re-inhabited.

Country Open For Business

With the renovations soon to be completed, Prince Roy plans on leasing the facility to companies who could operate remotely from Sealand to take full advantage of its loose laws and tax free haven. We may soon see Sealand as a safe-house for underground internet servers and regulation free internet broadcast stations. Plans are also underway to redecorate the outside of Sealand and make it more appealing for tourists.


You will find it difficult to actually get to Sealand but if you are an adventure/traveler you may just find this place worth the effort. Keep watch for future infrastructure; Sealand may soon become an internetters paradise.


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Sealand From AboveSealand After a Fire
Sealand From Above
Sealand From Above
Sealand After a Fire
Sealand After a Fire

Inside Sealand

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LoungeState RoomControl RoomHallwayDeck 7
State Room
State Room
Control Room
Control Room
Deck 7
Deck 7

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Comments 35 comments

Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

Ah, yes, Sealand will soon be pumping out terabytes of kiddy porn, snuff films and crooked casino games to the eagerly awaiting world. Until the UK cuts its underwater telecom cable and leaves it a floundering collector of seagull guano! :) Hail Prince Roy!

Jyle Dupuis profile image

Jyle Dupuis 9 years ago from Henrico, Virginia Author

No doubt, I mean Sealand may have country status but I don't think they have a standing army. If they become a hub for piracy who's to stop Scotland Yard from seizing the property for illegal practises. Countries have been taken over before in the past. If I were Prince Roy I'd be careful who I would do business with.

Jeanne Dupuis profile image

Jeanne Dupuis 9 years ago from Calgary

Gross... There's no way on earth I would spend a night there. My skin is crawling.

Princessa profile image

Princessa 9 years ago from France

Are you serious? Who would like to be the King of such a crappy place?

Micronations 9 years ago

Sealand doesn't have a king...being a principality, it has a prince. By comparison, the Kingdom of East Jahunga ( ) has a king as it's head of state.

AuraGem profile image

AuraGem 9 years ago from Victoria, Australia

What a fascinating bundle of info. Just loved it!

Thanks for the hub!

Smiles and Light

Princessa profile image

Princessa 9 years ago from France

Ups! :-( Thanks for clarifying that Micronations. I'll pay more attention next time :-)

JEG 7 years ago

I wonder how Sealand would repel an American invasion.

Jyle Dupuis profile image

Jyle Dupuis 7 years ago from Henrico, Virginia Author

Or any invasion for that matter. Anyone with a rowboat and gun could take over that country.

manny r 7 years ago

jeanne dupuis, I bet your one of those people that whenever she travels goes straight for the tourist traps and malls instead of getting to see what the real world is like.

This might not be the best looking place. But the guy that bought it from had a great idea as weird as it might sound I bet he can be more proud looking back at his life for doing what he did. While you die thinking if you ever did anything extraordinary.

Open up your eyes grow up and travel the world. The greates places are those that inspire. And I bet your malls and Cookie cutter life does not inspire one bit.

Sorry if other people think I'm attacking that comment but I just find it very ignorant and reminds me of what is wrong with modern society

vinesh777 profile image

vinesh777 7 years ago from Oman

Hi Jyle,

Thank you for the information.

But Sealand is not a country, its a micronation. So it cannot be treated as 'smallest country' in the world.

Also i think the sealand's area is 550 square meters, where as Vatican's area is 440 square meters only

Darkmelody 7 years ago

With some work done I think it would be an amazing place to live, with it being so low in population it would have no crime rate.

If I had the money I would by it right away, have my close friends and family move there and just dare for someone to mess with us, my family is a small army by itself.

justin 6 years ago

sealand, amazing.don't sell it

justin hicks 6 years ago

i would like to buy it

King Fredrick of Telamar 6 years ago

del asdoertyow ohy oit's amagesinj

i'm astonished oh it's amazing

bnjmn 6 years ago

WoW, i'd love to have my own country like that out on a barge but at least four times bigger. And we will put a McDonalds there too.

jfcdczxc 6 years ago

i think sealand is kewl. i would buy it if i had the money then i would fix it up a little. maybe i would extend it. then i would add mcdonalds and burger kinh there. lol

aJITIII 6 years ago


Peter Kirkland 6 years ago


Marina 6 years ago

Okay, This is pretty weird if you ask me..."micronation" and "nation" are very different. Sealand isn't a nation, never will be. Officially and truly, the world's smallest nation IS Vatican. I don't see how a clump of rusty metal could snag the reputation of such a grand, holy country like Vatican.

Marina 6 years ago

And by the way Peter, this is no place for weeaboo anime wannabes right now. This is serious talk. Go roleplay APH somewhere else.

Caitlyn 6 years ago

Is Sealand the smallest country? How big is it?

Dont hav one 6 years ago

Sealand looks cool

james 6 years ago

My mate owns this place

derp 6 years ago

4 Somali could take over this place without a problem, how the hell does he protect it?

Hetalia Fan 5 years ago

DUUUDE! I wanna move there! :D

dfgbnm, ./ 5 years ago

its easy just shoot

jimbo09 5 years ago

If the Vatican is a country so is Canberra

shakenya 5 years ago

i love justin hicks

bri 4 years ago

i think its great except for deck 7

Jm1821 4 years ago

They need to form an elite army and start gaining respect. Advertise, have a mild form of government and structure present and im sure they could appeal to more people or at the least gain support for the official recognition of their country. Its really cool that someone had the idea to do that and the balls to carry it out. Don't let em take it, but also don't give someone a good reason to. Im moving there.

An Informed Reader 3 years ago

Sealand should not even exist. It's "founded" on a fort built by the British, meaning that it is British territory. It's also dependent on Great Britain - the "royal family" actually spends most of their time in Essex. Also, Sealand's fire in 2006 was put out by the Royal Air Force - meaning the British Royal Air Force. This "country" is not even an official country and is dependent on Great Britain for nearly everything.

Jyle Dupuis profile image

Jyle Dupuis 3 years ago from Henrico, Virginia Author

It makes for a nice fantasy to be able to have your own country and be independent. If this experiment proves anything it only demonstrates how dependant we all are on the services our governments provide us with.

cow 3 years ago

Guys sealand is not british territory, since it lays on international waters

screanam 2 years ago

Seeing a man standing on the helicopter pad really gives you a sense of scale. There isn't a whole lot there. It looks like a small shelter, a crane and a Helipad. The pillars are probably solid cement with just a staircase going through. There are no hi-res pictures online. The only photo of the interior I could find shows an obsolete TV and a tattered sofa. I just don't see it serving any purpose other than a long-expired political experiment and a current fortress of solitude for a disgruntled British ex-pat. And it's an eyesore besides.

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