04/02/2015 10:57 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

4 Weird Facts About The World's Most Obscure Countries

By: Sophie-Claire Hoeller


Did you know that there's a country with Star Wars characters on its official currency? Or another that didn't celebrate the millennium until... 2007? The world is indeed a crazy place, but even we didn't realize just how strange things could get until we discovered some of the most outlandish facts about some of the planet's lesser known countries.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Eric Guinther

Yap uses giant stones as currency
While not the only source of money on this small Micronesian island in the Pacific Ocean, the 8,000lb limestone discs known as Raj are still used as currency, although mostly for rituals. Yeah, nobody's trading in one of these puppies for a new Kia, if that's what you're thinking. The stone's values were originally determined a number of factors, including their size, the intricacy of their carvings, and how many lives were lost bringing them to the island from Palau. In a canoe. 280mi away!

Credit: Flickr/Per Salomonsson

Ladonia is nothing more than a stack of sticks
Founded by artist Lars Vilks in 1980 as an art installation made of driftwood, Ladonia is a micronation located in a nature reserve in the southwest of Sweden. When authorities threatened to destroy the project, Vilks "seceded," proclaiming Ladonia's independence from Sweden in 1996. The "country" claims 17,000 residents, but they're actually nomadic -- so none of them live anywhere near that pile of sticks.

Credit: Flickr/Christopher Robbins

Nauru is a country without a capital
Nauru, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean and the world's smallest republic, gained its independence in 1968 but doesn't have a capital city. In fact, it doesn't really have a city at all, just a random clusters of buildings.

Credit: Flickr/Tomoaki INABA

Tuvalu #won the Internet
The tiny country of Tuvalu, located in the middle of nowhere between Hawaii and Australia, hit the Internet jackpot when it received $50 million (half its GDP at the time) in exchange for the rights to its top-level ".tv" internet domain.

For 5 more crazy facts about the world's lesser-known places, head to!

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