The Somerset Levels is an autonomous UK state covering some 160,000 acres (650 square kilometres) and was only discovered when it was flooded by 100 million cubic metres (21,996,924,830 gallons) of water in 2014.
It was granted its independence after the Battle of Sedgemoor in 1685 and since then has had it own parliament – known as the Zoyland Lout – which meets three times a year at The Black Smock near Oath Lock. It also produces its own currency, with coins and notes featuring depictions of the area’s three traditional forms of employment – withy growing, peat cutting and eel fishing.
The population has remained almost constant for the last 300 years, with the higher than average death rates from elveritis, morbid withy scab and sudden peat fever compensated for by commensurately higher birth rates among the over-65s.
The area is also said to have the highest incidence of confirmed ghost sightings in the UK and collectively, these are known as the Spirit Levels.