Micronation of Molossia in Nevada


Beyond this point, you are no longer in United States territory.”

So reads the sign marking the entrance to the Republic of Molossia, in the middle of the Nevada desert.

Given the diverse range of cultures in the US, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to argue that our nation is actually composed of several mini-countries all rolled up into one. But beyond the obvious divisions that exist between states, and the societal differences that separate regions like New England, the Midwest, the Deep South, and California, there is another invisible border that few people know about. It doesn’t indicate the territory of a city or state, but another nation entirely, and it exists wholly within US borders.

Where is Molossia?

The Republic of Molossia, located about 30 miles east of Carson City, Nevada, can be accessed right off Route 50 in the Dayton Valley. Situated in the remote Nevada desert, this 1.3-square-acre community is a self-proclaimed micronation, with its own currency, customs office, and president.

The history of Molossia

The Republic of Molossia was founded on May 26, 1977, by Kevin Baugh and James Spielman. Originally the country was located in Portland, Oregon, called the Grand Republic of Vuldstein, and under the rule of “King” Spielman. Succeeding Spielman, Baugh renamed the country the Republic of Molossia in 1999, declared himself president, and relocated it to the Nevada desert. The name Molossia itself is an adaptation of the Hawaiian word maluhia, which means “harmony in the world.”

Does the US recognize The Republic of Molossia?

Although Baugh has sought formal independence from the US through a petition, it failed to gather enough signatures for the micronation to receive formal recognition. Despite its lack of official sovereign status, the micronation is currently involved in a war with East Germany and has been since 1983. The root of the issue is a dispute over an uninhabited island in Cuba, which has been unclaimed since the fall of the Berlin wall.

It’s important to note that a micronation is not recognized by the international community. It is a piece of land claiming to be an independent, sovereign nation, with its own system of government and societal rules.

Technically, the micronation is a military dictatorship, with President Baugh regularly dressing in ceremonial uniform adorned with medals. The dictatorship, however, is not a brutal one, but a humorous allusion to the world dictators that were installed by the US around the world in the 70s and 80s.

Life in Molossia

The republic calls itself a “third-world nation” due to its lack of paved roads and infrastructure like a hospital, or an airport. But it’s not all bad. Located outside the jurisdiction of the US, Molossia does not pay taxes and even has its own currency, printed on poker chips, which is based on the value of Pillsbury cookie dough. There is a national anthem, unique language (Esperanto), bank, railroad, post office, war office, and kazoo-like official instrument. The main building in town is the Government House — Baugh’s private residence.

The population of The Republic of Molossia

According to Travel Nevada, there are 30 people living in the micronation, as well as four dogs.

Can you live in Molossia?

Unfortunately for those wanting to relocate to this quirky nation, Molossia does not accept any new residents. The FAQ page on micronation’s website states that “you can’t [become a Molossian citizen]. Full residency in Molossia is a requirement of citizenship, and new residents are not allowed. There simply isn’t room in our tiny nation!”

Visiting Molossia

Molossia isn’t like other countries with tourism boards encouraging year-round visitors. The micronation is open to visitors once a month, from April 15 through October 15, with specific visiting dates listed on the government’s website.

Even though you don’t need a special visa to visit Molossia, don’t expect to just waltz right into town — you should inform the government of your visit prior to arrival. According to the website, “Visitors to Molossia must not come unannounced. This is our home as well as our nation and we may be unavailable to receive you. Visitors cannot tour the nation unescorted, again because it is also our home.”

If you are considering a visit, you might want to shoot for May 26, the micronation’s Founder’s Day, which is widely considered one of the most festive days to visit. Founder’s Day celebrates the anniversary of the country’s birth and involves a tour of the community by the president himself, a rousing speech, and of course, a barbecue.

Do you need a passport to go to Molossia?

The micronation has a customs station, and your passport will be stamped upon entry. Even if you don’t want your passport stamped, bring it because it is recommended for identification. You don’t need a visa or any documentation to enter the micronation, however.

Does Molossia have a military?

The micronation has its own navy: The Molossian Navy. It consists of five inflatable boats. The micronation’s website explains that that the goal of the Molossian Navy is “to explore those watery places that dot the western landscape like gems in the sand. There are actually quite a few lakes and reservoirs through the western desert, and we have set our sights to explore as many as possible. In addition, our Navy stands ready to defend Molossia whenever necessary, through the means of our valiant Naval Infantry.”

Like any ambitious nations, Molossia isn’t simply content with remaining inside its own borders. The micronation has an unofficial claim on a patch of sea 470 miles off the coast of Mexico, as well as nearly 50,000 square miles of land on the surface of Neptune. Indeed, Molossia’s intergalactic aspirations are one of its hallmarks. It even has its own space program. The Molossian Air and Space Agency periodically launches (mini) rockets, some with a payload of Mexican jumping beans.


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