Six miles off the English coast in the choppy North Sea waters stand two cement pylons supporting a platform spanning about 6,000 square feet. This is Her Majesty’s Fort Roughs, an abandoned World War II sea fort. It is also The Principality of Sealand – one of the world’s smallest self-proclaimed nations. For over forty years, the Bates family has clung to their nation of iron and cement, isolated by water, dabbling in business ventures, narrowly avoiding invasions and creating a dynasty based on the freedom of the unclaimed sea. While many projects in micronationalism have come and gone, Sealand lives on. E Mare Libertas, “From the sea, freedom.”
Put a bird on it, 19th century style. How the craze for big hats and feathers sparked the bird conservation movement. Check it out on Lapham’s Quarterly.
Each great civilization is plagued by its own particular infestation—the point at which the balance between man and vermin shifts uncomfortably in the direction of the critters. Biblical Egypt had its plague of locusts, modern New York City is terrorized by bedbugs, and Victorian London had a serious rat problem. Full story on Lapham’s Quarterly.