Modern day Earth... the offices of state and national leaders, and mainstream news media outlets in an unspecified western democratic nation each receive an ornate, very official-looking and unthreateningly-worded letter from the queen of a nation that none of them have ever heard of, notifying them that the nation which the signatory represents will be appearing at a specified place within the borders of the real-world nation at dawn on a specific date around two months in the future, and will remain until midnight of that day.

The letters cordially invite the government leaders to take appropriate diplomatic, customs and crowd control measures, and invite the news media to send journalists who will be permitted to enter the unheard-of nation and report upon whatever they wish. They also state that the general public of the real-world nation will be permitted to enter the unheard-of nation and nationals of the unheard-of nation will be permitted to depart with minimal restrictions, unless the local authorities choose to impose restrictions on entry and exit of their own.

The letters give the address of an unremarkable middle-class home within the borders of the real-world nation as a return address (clearly not the location at which the mobile nation is set to appear), and offer the government/news media a locally-registered mobile phone number as a contact number for the queen of the unheard-of nation for the recipients to make contact, not for the purposes of public dissemination.

The question: What response, if any, are the addressees of these letters likely to give to these seemingly ridiculous letters? Are the staff of the government leaders likely to simply discard the letters, or would they be forwarded to the leaders to whom they were addressed? Would the leaders take any action beyond laughing? Would the news media send journalists?

At the date, time and place specified, the small, previously-unheard-of nation magically appears as foretold by the letters in a place within sight of a major city's central business district, and does not offer any harm to the host nation, seeking only to trade peacefully, but also being prepared to defend against an attack should one occur.

What official and media response can be expected after this event?

What response could be expected after this event should similar letters be received by leaders and media outlets in another real-world nation announcing the future arrival of the magical nation within the borders of their nation?

  • $\begingroup$ How does this nation appear? Does it arrive on or replace land that was already there? Does it move apart land that already existed (harmlessly or otherwise?) Was it always in existence and just under an effect that made everyone and everything overlook it until now? $\endgroup$
    – notovny
    Jun 19, 2021 at 17:39
  • $\begingroup$ @notovny, The nation is a three-kilometer high mountain, about five kilometers wide. It rises from the ground or the sea, harmlessly pushing aside existing geography to make room for itself, and the geography harmlessly returns to normal when it leaves. It moves from place to place each day, so has not always existed at the places in which it appears. $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Jun 19, 2021 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ " does not offer any harm, ..., seeking only to trade peacefully". You know that there are quite aggressive trading wars going on at the moment that hurt all involved. Suddenly having a complete country appear (if it is somewhat large) for trade will upset economic systems and do harm, whether intentional or not. $\endgroup$
    – D.J. Klomp
    Jun 19, 2021 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ @D.J.Klomp It's a micronation about 5km in diameter. They're looking to buy bulk foodstuffs (the place doesn't really have much farmland), and they sell magical stuff that isn't available anywhere else, along with a variety of service-related industries. $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Jun 20, 2021 at 1:06

5 Answers 5


Measured response

Although @user535733 gives a good account, I think some angles are missing.

The letter would be seen as ludicrous. There would be no response, or at worst some inquiries at the return address house would be made to see who sent it (and if it did originate from the return address) and assess the mental health of this person. A letter that the sun will fall from the sky and the apocalypse will begin can expect the same response. Apathy or checking in.

The way the nation appears will make a great deal of difference. Is there suddenly more land? Does it occupy current land? Is there a huge flash of light and a big sonic boom of displaced air? If lots of people panic, they will transfer this when they tell the government and thus get a likely larger response.

But even without panic, there is a large amount of bewilderment. Governments are often not very happy about people claiming their land, or suddenly appearing out of nowhere. The response is likely to show force. Possibly use force. The tales of it magically appearing might not be believed at first, but in this day and age there is enough video evidence that at the top it'll be believed, or at least thought it's a neat big trick. Regardless, you have now a new nation on your doorstep that is able to do so magically or via trickery. A protective move is simply logical.

Depending on culture and how much is believed, they will attack to intimidate, maybe eradicate. Attack to intimidate and no attack will allow the diplomatic forces to come into action. Any attempts at trade or peace from the new nation will be put on hold, as first they need to explain thoroughly what they are doing there. If possible, also how they could be here.

Media is steered by culture, so there will likely not be much difference between media and government. Sure some might a different stance as media has their own viewpoint per paper and such, but most responses are still in the same grain. Why are they in their country. The how is often not as important. It's likely more that they did do it instead of how.

Other nations will prepare accordingly to their beliefs. No one wants a suddenly appearing nation on their doorstep, especially if it's prepared for defence (which means an enemy force in your borders). They might trade and have peace, but no nation would go at it unprepared for violence. They don't even know if each letter comes from the same group with the same motivations.


Initial response: "Yet another crank. File it with the other cranks."

The phone number begins receiving spam.

Nobody will show up except for a single local reporter, who will briefly be famous. Their documented proof will cause others to reconsider. The police cordon off the wierdo house, and an aide to the local mayor gets woken up to drop by for a chat.

The smarter-than-you-thought local Police Captain, now that she knows this isn't a hoax, asks everybody to please wait on their side of the cordon until the diplomats arrive from the Foreign Ministry. It might be a day or two, but let's all be patient and prevent misunderstandings, eh?

After that initial chaotic contact, this seems rather like establishing a normal embassy or consulate, of which there are many thousands already scattered around various capitals and major cities of the Earth. Foreign Ministries and major cities already know how to host those.

  • $\begingroup$ Why would the phone number be spammed? $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Jun 19, 2021 at 14:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MontyWild Because any publicized phone number is inevitably spammed. That's why TV shows that have phone numbers shown or mentioned on-screen always use numbers that are invalid in the real world (e.g., with the reserved 555 prefix). $\endgroup$ Jun 19, 2021 at 16:27
  • $\begingroup$ The number isn't "publicized", just offered to the government and news outlets as a point of contact. Why would either share it or spam it? $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Jun 19, 2021 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ @MontyWild Since it will be considered as a prank, some news outlets may pass these letters to the late-night comedy shows. Those, in turn, may show the text of the letter with the phone number visible. Then someone will put a screenshot on Reddit or some other website. $\endgroup$
    – Otkin
    Jun 20, 2021 at 17:38

We have several cases of authorities throwing away letters (or even walk-ins) from mass shooters asking to be stopped. After getting turned away, these shooters did what they claimed they would do.

Many western democratic nations have wide expanses of wilderness. It might even be possible for the nation to appear and disappear as promised entirely without notice.

There’s always an off chance that someone in government, press, or both will be tickled by the letter and either go to check it out.

Putting all of that together:

  • If the nation appears and disappears in a place so remote that no one notices, and no one goes to see it out of curiosity... maybe the next time the letters go out someone’s curiosity is piqued.

  • If the nation appears near a small rural town, the event will probably be captured. It might make the news, but it might not.

For a case of getting ignored: my small town this weekend (yesterday, actually) had a film company put actors pretending to be rioters, actors pretending to be armed bikers, and a lot of pretend rifles on our little city streets. A LOT of people called the cops, where events were explained to them. However, all the excitement didn’t draw any more notice than a brief mention on the local newspapers Facebook page.

  • If the nation appears somewhere sufficiently urban that it can’t be ignored, then it probably still will be ignored by all but the curious. As complaints mount, officials may start to intervene. As it becomes undeniably something remarkable happening within walking distance, the press will start to respond.

For example: thousands of animals beaching themselves near a significant urban center may get a local news crew out, but generally a story is only written after everything is over.


It will cause trouble

The letters will be received by low rank employees who nobody ever listens to. They will throw them away and when the nation appears everyone is mistified, some of the employees recall the strange letter and they try to inform their bosses of the letter, but the security machine is already in motion. The place is cordoned off and the army is placed on high alert.


For this I assume "the home" and the meeting place are the same. They are both within the borders of the same country, so any distance between them only adds a little confusion.

  1. Several of the officials will take the time to "vet" the call info. They'll determine it's a prank or political action.

  2. Within two days there will be media coverage of the attempted prank combined with many countries' officials having a small desire to try to get the act prosecuted as "wire fraud" or "forgery", etc.

  3. Police will scrutinize the home from their office. Perhaps some unknown wag will conveniently make a false call for a "welfare check", giving them an excuse to barge in. The zoning plans and building permits for the Interdimensional Orifice may not be up to date. There may be impermissible radio interference from prank foreign radio stations leaking from the home, demanding an immediate investigation lest neighbors turn in to fake news.

  4. By the third day, police will seek entry to the home with some kind of warrant. Given there are some political dimensions to the case, I imagine the SWAT team will be on hand from the beginning. If an officer goes missing in the back of a coat cabinet they will be on scene soon afterward.

  5. If the home seems entirely mundane, it will be taped up with police tape. Police will stay on hand until the appointed hour a la MOVE to maintain a perimeter against journalists, curiosity seekers, souvenir hunters, (if applicable) foreign diplomats, and other such undesirables.

  6. If anyone comes out of that house on the appointed day talking about defending their "territory" or anything else not involving their hands on top of their head, we'll see which country has the better weaponry - no matter what hologram light show they put on or what faked chatter comes through on the radio.

  7. If a foreign "country" turns up on any country's territory, that doesn't mean the latter nation has its borders redrawn. It means that an enemy infiltration force with advanced technology has invaded them by stealth, and needs to be repelled with all available weapons in a national battle for sovereignty if not survival.

The above represents my expectation, not my advice.

  • $\begingroup$ The contact address is clearly not the location at which the mobile nation is said to be due to appear. The letters are clearly not political action, and don't purport to be from anyone the real-world governments have ever heard of, so would most likely be considered to be either a prank or the product of the author's delusion. $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Jun 19, 2021 at 18:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Also, why attempt to prosecute over a letter that doesn't threaten harm, doesn't make any demands, and seems completely implausible? Prosecuting would be a waste of public money, wouldn't it? $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Jun 19, 2021 at 18:45

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