"Smallest state" seeks new owners
Tiny North Sea tax haven for sale
Welcome to Sealand. Now Bugger Off
The Principality of Sealand
CIA: The World Factbook
The start of the new calendar year often brings resolutions to complete certain tasks and a belief in fresh starts. For the royal family of Sealand, a self-styled independent "state" which sits off the coast of Essex, it was time for another type of task: sell Sealand to the highest bidder. It's rather an odd state of affairs as Sealand has never been recognized by either the United Kingdom or the United Nations as a sovereign nation. With a total area of 10,000 square feet, Sealand consists entirely of an anti-aircraft platform built by the British during World War II to defend the important port of Essex. Abandoned for several decades, the platform was taken over by Major Paddy Roy Bates in the 1960s, and he and members of his family have lived there for the past forty years. Sealand has been noted as an interesting case study in international law over the years, and it has seen a number of hasty attempts to overthrow its government, including when a group of recalcitrant German and Dutch businessmen tried to seize control of the platform in the 1980s. For those who might be interested in such a purchase, "Michael of Sealand" (son of Paddy Bates) has given word to the press that Sealand has "what you would normally expect in a small village, really."
The first link will take visitors to an appropriately brief audio profile of Sealand and its upcoming sale, courtesy of National Public Radio. The second link will take users to detailed coverage of the events surrounding Sealand's impending sale as reported this Monday by the BBC. Additionally, users can also watch a video clip of "Prince Michael" of Sealand discussing the future of his beloved anti-aircraft platform. Moving along, the third link offers further commentary on these events, direct from the Australian Broadcasting Company. The fourth link offers a bit of past news coverage of Sealand, direct from the July 2000 issue of Wired magazine. In the piece, Simson Garfinkel comments on the attempt by a group of "libertarian swashbucklers" to turn Sealand into a type of global networking hub that would be outside "the jurisdiction of the world's nation states." It's an interesting piece, and definitely worth a look. The fifth link will take visitors to the official homepage of the principality of Sealand, where visitors can learn more about their history and also be presented with the opportunity to purchase postcards of Sealand, complete with a personal message from a local resident. The final link leads to the online CIA World Factbook, which contains information about all of the countries of the world, with a notable absence between the countries of Saudi Arabia and Senegal.