|What is a micronation?
The definition for micronation above, taken from the Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition of the Collins English Dictionary, says a lot about what micronations actually are, but is also inaccurate, just as the Wikipedia definition for micronation is inaccurate.
Yes, a micronation is an entity that lays claim to sovereign status as an independent nation, but it is not true that it exists only on the Internet, or within the private property of its members.
For starters, there are actually two types of micronations: secessionist micronations and non-secessionist micronations.
Secessionist micronations seriously claim more than the private property of their nationals, and claim territory internationally recognised to be incorporated into the territory of sovereign states.
Non-secessionist micronations, which are more common, either don't have land claims (virtual micronations, which exist only on the Internet), or like NSK State, claim to exist only in the dimension of time, but not in space; claim their backyards/gardens only, and/or those of their nationals (single or multiple diaxenospitia micronations); or have irredentist claims to single or multiple disputed territories, terrae nullius, claimed or unclaimed areas in Antarctica, or disappearing islands.
Actually with non-secessionist micronations, claims can get even broader than the description above. Several micronations claim one trash or garbage island through a multilateral treaty called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch Treaty (GPGPT), or all of the world's trash or garbage islands through a multilateral treaty called the Multi-Oceanic Garbage Patch Treaty (MOGPT). Several micronations claim all of the world's space debris populations through a multilateral treaty called the Space Debris Treaty (SDT).
One micronation, the United Micronations Multi-Oceanic Archipelago (UMMOA), doesn't just exist on the Internet, but actually runs its own Internet, the Cesidian Root, and this reality is even recognised by a new IGO.
One micronation, the Kingdom of Vikesland, doesn't just exist on the Internet, but for a brief moment in time has also existed above the earth's atmosphere. In August 2008, the Kingdom of Vikesland (then known as the Principality of Vikesland), became the first micronation to send its flag into the very vacuum of space.
So dictionaries that claim that micronations exist only on the Internet, or within the private property of their nationals, haven't really done their fact-checking.
It is also not true that all micronations are unrecognised by real nations.
The Naminara Republic is a micronation that was created in 2006 as a culturally-focused tourism booster for the privately-owned island of Nami. Yet the micronation supports a regular calendar of fine art, literary and culturally-focused events, often in cooperation with international organisations such as UNICEF and UNESCO, and has recently launched, along with a group of nine provincial governments, a regional tourism consortium to promote diverse travel programs in different provinces in Korea. While not enjoying, or even demanding any kind of de jure recognition, it is clear that the Naminara Republic enjoys quite a bit of de facto recognition, and at very high levels.
The Naminara Republic is also not the only micronation which regularly sponsors culturally-focused events. NSK State produces music through the musical group Laibach, other NSK members produce visual arts, graphics, film and video, and several "NSK Rendez-Vous" have presented shows in the guise of an embassy, or as a territory of their state, in fine art galleries or museums.
There are more examples of micronations enjoying some level of recognition by real nations.
In November 1968, an English court declared itself outside the jurisdiction of Sealand. This action made the Principality of Sealand the first micronation to gain some de facto recognition.
The Republic of Saugeais is an officially sanctioned, tongue-in-cheek micronation located in eastern France, in the département of Doubs.
Some micronations also have public disputes with real nations about their claims.
In the case between the Principality of Sealand and the United Kingdom, a spokesman for the Foreign Office in 2000 has said: "Her Majesty's Government does not recognise the Principality of Sealand as a separate entity. Therefore it is governed by UK law." It is clear that the British Government disputes Sealand's territorial claims. Sealand is a secessionist micronation.
A similar thing has happened to the United Micronations Multi-Oceanic Archipelago (UMMOA). A spokesman for the US Department of the Interior (USDOI) in 2012 has said that it doesn't recognise Tallini's or the UMMOA's claims. "Midway Atoll remains an insular area of the United States of America. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service carries out administration of the island out of its Honolulu office." It is clear that the US Government disputes the UMMOA's territorial claims. However, the UMMOA is a non-secessionist micronation.
Even micronationalists themselves like to split hairs between the secessionist or Montevideo Convention followers (Fourth World micronations, but the Republic of Molossia, a micronation that claims little more than its private property, is not really secessionist as the Principality of Filettino, claiming the whole village of Filettino, truly is), and the non-secessionist or non-Montevideo Convention followers (Fifth and Sixth World micronations), but as you can see, this is nonsense from a strictly practical point of view.
The fact that the Montevideo Convention is nonsense in a non-Official World perspective is even further emphasised when this question comes to mind: if the Montevideo Convention is so important, and indeed the Montevideo Convention is a statement fully reflecting customary international law, then why are donations to micronations not tax-deductable according to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules, since they are qualified organisations when reflecting the objectivity and necessity of customary international law? This also brings another question to mind: shouldn't the US Department of State, responsible for international relations of the United States, have jurisdiction over these matters, and not a bureau of the Department of the Treasury?
The UMMOA is also officially recognised as incorporated with the International [States] Parliament for Safety and Peace (I[S]PSP), an IGO recognised by many sovereign states, and which officially recognises 11 of the UMMOA's 30 island claims. Another 11 distinct UMMOA island claims are, in turn, recognised by the Organization of Emerging African States (OEAS), and that IGO also recognises the UMMOA as the Protector of Mayotte and the Chagos Archipelago.
Besides spearheading the initiatives that lead to the GPGPT, MOGPT, and SDT multilateral and intermicronational treaties; besides managing a global Internet, the Cesidian Root, just like the United States; besides spearheading the "Obama should legalise micronations" petition on the Internet, which has attracted over 180 signatures of English speakers, and the "Richiesta di riconoscimento di cittadinanza alternativa" petition, which has attracted over 20 signatures of Italian speakers; besides sponsoring the "Arte e poesia della vita" cultural event in Italy in May 2010; besides attracting the recognition of a real nation, the Republic of Cabinda; besides attracting the recognition of several NGOs, including the recognition of an international NGO (INGO) with Special Consultative Status with United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); the UMMOA has also spearheaded the initiative which lead to the multilateral Anti-Antarctic Treaty System (AATS), which legitimately rejects Antarctic Treaty claims, and creates the world's first two-party system legally governing Antarctica, where only a single party once governed — without the blessing of all, or even of the majority of UN member states.
Not only do micronations exist and function beyond the Internet, but in reality they even run their own Internets in some cases.
Many micronations are made up of more than the mere private property of their nationals, since they have secessionist and irredentist territorial claims, and some of these claims enjoy the international recognition of IGOs. Micronations even officially claim globally distributed trash or garbage islands, and/or space debris populations.
Some private properties of micronations are owned by multiple and unrelated owners, and are organised as globally distributed towns or diaxenospitias. Micronations even exist which incorporate diaxenospitia-island-network-systems, also known today as dinsystems.
Micronations enjoy the recognition of real nations, and some even enjoy the recognition of IGOs or impressive INGOs. Some micronations also have public territorial disputes with sovereign states, just as other sovereign states do.
Several people work for micronational institutions like the Cesidian Root, and some micronationalists even support their micronations through voluntary taxes, cash and in kind donations. Micronationalists support their national cultures, and in some cases even promote cultural exchange through culturally-focused tourism, or through fine art and literary-focused events.
Some micronations even have universities that function as societies of scholars; hold ongoing courses through the Internet; do a lot of original research; and have connections to industry, unlike many other universities you may know or acknowledge.
So basically there is no essential difference between microstates and micronations, except that the former enjoy a greater degree of sovereignty, and greater recognition.
While there is an irrationally-based tendency today to discredit micronations through the Wikipedia, the Holy Bible shows a less defamatory, more accurate, and more scholarly micronational vocabulary than even the Wikipedia, and treats at least one (future) micronation with astonishing reverence.
HMRD Cesidio Tallini