Sealand, or the Principality of Sealand, is a micronation located in the North Sea about 7.5 miles from Suffolk, England. Sealand is the home of Roughs Tower, which was used as a gun platform by the British in World War II. Data recorded in 2002 shows that the area has a population of just 27 people.
Sealand is often referred to as the smallest country in the world. However, it has not been officially recognized by any sovereign state.
It was in 1943 when HM Fort Roughs was constructed to defend shipping lanes during the Second World War. Royal Navy personnel resided within the facility until 1956. At one time, up to 300 people lived in Sealand. The history of Sealand gets even stranger when looking at the 1960s. Paddy Roy Bates seized the decommissioned HM Fort Roughs from a group of pirate radio operators. Though Bates originally planned to set up his own radio station, these plans never came to fruition. In the 1970s, Bates also attempted to establish Sealand as a nation state, but these plans failed.
Later in the 1970s, Alexander Achenbach hired mercenaries to launch an attack on Sealand. Bates and his wife were in England when the attack was launched, and their son Michael was taken hostage. However, he retook Sealand and captured the mercenaries. Achenbach was charged with treason and held in Sealand. After negotiations, he was finally released. Bates passed away in 2012 and his wife passed in 2016. Their son, Michael, took over his father’s role.
Throughout the years, Sealand has issued coins and postage stamps, has an official newspaper and posts an online newspaper. It’s also home to participants of sporting events, including the World Egg Throwing Championship.
This tiny area is just 0.0015 square miles and is home to 27 people, according to estimates. Because of its small size, this small area will not see its population expand further.