World's Smallest Country: The Principality of Sealand
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.
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.