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Naval gazing: a brief, quixotic history of DIY aquatic micronations.

Republic of New Atlantis (1964-66)

LOCATION: 8-by-30-foot bamboo raft anchored eight miles off Jamaica

RAISON D'ETRE: Founded by Ernest Hemingway's brother, Leicester, under the Guano Islands Act of 1856. Economy based on stamps honoring Churchill, Hubert Humphrey, and LBJ.

Principality of Sealand (1967-present)

LOCATION: World War II military platform six miles off the English coast

RAISON D'ETRE: Vanity project of Prince Roy Bates of Sealand. Sells royal titles and has been suggested as a data haven for the likes of WikiLeaks.

Republic of Rose Island (1967-68)

LOCATION: Platform seven miles off the Italian coast

RAISON D'ETRE: Speaking Esperanto, printing stamps, possibly tax evasion. Blown up by the Italian navy.

Republic of Minerva (1972)

LOCATION: Reef in the South Pacific

RAISON D'ETRE: Libertarian utopia, minting gold coins. Invaded by Tonga.

Oceania (1993-94)

LOCATION: Man-made floating "hexagons" 50 miles off Panama

RAISON D'ETRE: Laissez-faire capitalist paradise. "In Oceania the sharks and barnacles will be in the sea, not on your property!" Never got off the drawing board.

Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands (2004-present)

LOCATION: Tiny islands in the Great Barrier Reef

RAISON D'ETRE: Pro-gay-marriage protest against Australia. National anthem: Gloria Gaynor's "I Am What I Am.

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Title Annotation:OUTFRONT; seasteads throughout the history
Author:Gilson, Dave
Publication:Mother Jones
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2012
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