Back in 2005, a man by the name of Zaq Landsberg, then a New Yorker, went on eBay and bought himself a couple of acres of land in the state of Utah in the western US, for which he paid precisely $610 (€553).
These days, the two acres are the territory of the Republic of Zaqistan, which the man founded the very year that he purchased the land, in November.
The Republic of Zaqistan, now a decade old, sits smack in the middle of a desert, approximately 60 miles (nearly 100 kilometers) from the nearest town and 2 miles (a little over 3 kilometers) from the closest road.
It's not a real country, but it sure looks like one
Legally speaking, Zaq Landsberg's Republic of Zaqistan is not an actual sovereign nation. Still, just go for a visit and you might be tricked into thinking that it is.
For one thing, this supposed country in Utah has its own flag, which shows a giant squid on a field of red. It has its own Declaration of Independence, signed on November 19 of 2005, and even a motto, i.e. “Quispiam Ex Nusquam” (“Something from Nothing”).
Plain old water is listed as the main import, which makes perfect sense considering that, as mentioned, the nation sits in a desert, far away from any rivers or springs.
“Zaqistan is high desert. The during the day the sun is hot and intense, the nights are generally cool. The air is dry and moisture is minimal. Zaqistan is far from any water source so as of now all water must be imported,” explains founder Zaq Landsberg.
As for wildlife, there isn't much around except for lizards, snakes and the occasional jackrabbits. So, no, the Republic of Zaqistan isn't what some would call luscious.
You'll need a passport if you're planning to visit
If you're thinking about vacationing in this would-be sovereign nation in Utah anytime soon, you should know that, to make it past border control, you will need a passport. The good news is you can get one for $40 (€36).
Your passport will be stamped both when entering and leaving the Republic of Zaqistan, so you'll have something to show for your holiday spent in this foreign land when you get home.
True, there are no glorious monuments to marvel at, but there are some artworks lying around for you to photograph. Then, there are also some pretty cool plastic flowers sticking out of the ground.