In an interesting and slightly strange career move, Peter Thiel, best known as the co-founder of PayPal, is funding the creation of floating cities.

The idea for these man-made island nations originated with Patri Friedman, a libertarian blogger and grandson of famed economist Milton Friedman. In theory, these micro-nations floating in the ocean would be free from the laws and regulations of any country.

The Seasteading Institute, of which Friedman is a part, aspires to create “seasteading communities” — floating cities — in order to allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for government. The Institute holds a competition in which designs for “seasteads” are submitted and judged by a panel who picks the best designs.


Thiel, who was an early investor in Facebook and now runs a hedge fund, is known for his libertarian leanings and is putting up $1.25 million to fund the development of this idea.

Of course, residents of these theoretical island nations would have to contend with hurricanes, pirates (maybe…), and who knows what else, but at the same time, Peter Thiel was right about Facebook, maybe this early investment is on the money too!

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