Micronations — sometimes also referred to as fantasy countries, model countries, and new country projects — are entities that resemble independent nations or states but which are unrecognized by world governments or major international organizations. These nations usually exist only on paper, on the Internet, or in the minds of their creators. Micronations differ from secession and self-determination movements in that they are largely viewed as being eccentric and ephemeral in nature, and are often created and maintained by a single person or family group.
Some micronations have managed to extend some of their operations into the physical world by issuing coins, flags, postage stamps, passports, medals and other items. Such trappings of "real" sovereign states are created as a way of seeking to legitimize the micronations that produce them.
The term "micronation" dates at least to the 1970s (see The People's Almanac #2, page 330) to describe the many thousands of small, unrecognized, state-like entities that had arisen at that time. The term has since also come to be used retroactively to refer to earlier ephemeral unrecognized entities, some of which date as far back as the early 19th century.
Micronations: The Lonely Planet Guide to Home-Made Nations describes Atlantium as "a refreshing antidote to the reactionary self-aggrandisement of so many micronations", and "an extremely sophisticated nation-state experiment, as well as an entirely serious claimant to legitimate statehood". The book's entry on Atlantium notes its espousal of "progressive, liberal policies" and characterizes it as a "secular humanist utopia".