To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

People learning bizarre history of 'smallest country in the world' would never want to live there
Featured Image Credit: 60 Minutes

People learning bizarre history of 'smallest country in the world' would never want to live there

People are less than enthused about the world's 'smallest country', and no, this isn't Vatican City

What do you think is the smallest country in the world?

Well if we're talking in terms of recognised countries, that accolade still goes to Vatican City, which occupies just under half a square kilometre.

But what about unrecognised countries? That's where it starts to get a bit more interesting.

You might have heard of the self-proclaimed sovereign state in the Nevada desert which has a population of 30 people and claims to have been at war with Germany for the past 40 years.

But an even weirder 'country' has now captured people's imaginations.

Sealand viewed from the air.
BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

The Principality of Sealand is not an officially recognised country, but is a 'micronation'.

Essentially, this is a small place which as declared itself to be a sovereign nation, despite not being recognised by any international body.

Micronations are sometimes focused around an offshore location, for example the Republic of Rose Island on a platform, and Minerva, built on an artificial island.

Sealand is situated on an artificial platform out in the North Sea of the coast of the UK. But this isn't your every day marine platform.

That's because the principality is located in one of the Maunsell Forts, a series of sea forts built by the UK during World War Two.

At the time of its construction and founding, Sealand was located outside of the UK's jurisdiction in international waters.

In 1987 the UK extended its territory, and Sealand came under the jurisdiction of the UK.

But how was it founded?

It was founded by Paddy Roy Bates, who used it to broadcast pirate radio signals in 1967.

If you think this is like the 2009 Richard Curtis movie Pirate Radio (or The Boat that Rocked in the UK), then you're sorely mistaken.

This was no easygoing hippy paradise full of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

Michael Bates (left) is Sealand's self-described monarch.
60 Minutes

When a rival pirate radio station attempted to claim the platform, they were reportedly met with petrol bombs.

Following this incident, the Royal Navy took an active interest in the platform, and went to investigate.

They in turn were met with warning shots fired by Bates' son Michael Bates.

When the younger Bates was summoned to court to face charges over the incident, but since the incident had taken place in international waters, the charges were dropped.

The approach to Sealand.
BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

Michael took over as the 'ruler' of Sealand after his father's death in 2012.

People have since been less than enthusiastic about the prospect of living on the platform.

One person wrote: "Seems fun for a minute, but that looks dinky and the North Sea is brutally unforgiving. I’d have to pass."

It might get a bit windy, that's for sure.

Topics: News, World News, Weird