Another popular idea besides islands, is to create an artificial settlement on the sea, of sufficient size and safety to house a real population. Placing the object in international waters is a start to claim to be outside of any given land's laws.
A guaranteed view on the sea and fresh air. However, there is no land as such - unless it is an artificial island. Any soil and other materials must be brought along, or imported.
…very similar to the risks on an island.
Hurricanes are possibly even more dangerous, tidal waves or earthquakes may not be a problem at all (may depend on the anchoring).
Preventive measures/solutions: project the structure to withstand the worst hurricane available. Early warning is invaluable.
Food becomes even more crucial than on an island.
Basically, what you make is yours. There are many theoretical designs, ranging from giant steel/concrete columns thrown to the ocean floor, through carefully constructed floating constructions, up to massive reworked ships (see example). Artificial structures can be used to enlarge existing, natural islands.
Using dead volcanoes, coral reefs, and other natural locations close to the surface, actual island can be created. There is even a half-joking suggestion to use a giant heap of floating trash. Whether you consider it natural (no one put it there deliberately), you can see human creativity is far from exhausted.
- The Seastading Institute goes truly into depth on this matter, and is worth consulting.
- Freedonia considered constructing on Seacells, floating concrete islands. (See more on the topic and a few images.) There exists also a newer variant.
- Abalonia was a concrete ship, made to anchor 100 miles off the coast of San Diego, and claim jurisdiction over the area. Shortly after its launch, it foundered and sank. Another platform was planned on the same location, but the US government declared the part of the continental shelf fell within its jurisdiction.
- Oceania planned to use the same technology on a larger scale.
- The Holy City Project plans to make artificial floating cities. It has strong Biblical Christian values, and has amassed a lot of information. The project is still open and is awaiting project participants/residents.
- An ancient example are the Uros, floating man-made islets in Lake Titicaca, made out of a local reed plant.
- And if something more modern is desired, you could still try to make your island from plastic bottles. Some people are making hotels out of them.
- In that vein, any kind of other commonly available containers can be used (#).
One of the (presumed) criteria for an entity to be recognized as a state is that it has landmass (or at least "defined territory"). In legal theory it is disputed that an artificial construct can be recognized as a valid landmass.
*A well-known example is Sealand, a platform close to the UK. In one case a court ruled that it was outside British jurisdiction. It's exact status is disputed.
- Operation Atlantis planned to establish a libertarian country on international waters. They built a concrete-hulled ship called Freedom, and sailed to the Caribbean, intending to anchor it permanently. The ship sank in a hurricane and the project foundered with it.
- The Republic of Rose Island was based on a platform close to Italy; it featured a number of commercial establishments. Shortly after opening it was closed by the Italian government for tax evasion, and subsequently destroyed.
- New Utopia, an effort to create concrete platforms on the Misteriosa Bank, that was later declared for a scam.
Some projects abandon the idea of a fixed structure completely, and aim for living on a ship instead: