by Max Barry

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The Element of Surprise

“Didn't see that coming.”

Category: Anarchy
Civil Rights:
Political Freedoms:

Regional Influence: Sprat

Location: 10000 Islands



Population23.703 billion

LeaderSir Prize


The Element of Surprise is a gargantuan, environmentally stunning nation, ruled by Sir Prize with a fair hand, and notable for its absence of drug laws and spontaneously combusting cars. The hard-working, democratic population of 23.703 billion surprises live in a state of perpetual fear, as a complete breakdown of social order has led to the rise of order through biker gangs.

The medium-sized, liberal, pro-business, outspoken government juggles the competing demands of Spirituality, Education, and Public Transport. It meets to discuss matters of state in the capital city of anywhere. Citizens pay a flat income tax of 16.5%.

The strong surprised economy, worth a remarkable 1,011 trillion shocks a year, is quite specialized and led by the Gambling industry, with significant contributions from Book Publishing, Arms Manufacturing, and Trout Farming. Average income is 42,665 shocks, but there is a vast disparity between incomes, with the richest 10% of citizens earning 290,075 per year while the poor average 2,292, a ratio of 126 to 1.

Mr Happy's Funland has just been named Surprise's new capital, Sir Prize has just been declared ruler of Surprise in an international press conference, and astonishment has been named as Surprise's national religion. Crime is a serious problem, with the police force struggling against a lack of funding and a high mortality rate. Surprise's national animal is the shark, which frolics freely in the nation's sparkling oceans, and its national religion is astonishment.

Surprise is ranked 44,879th in the world and 584th in 10000 Islands for Smartest Citizens, with 40.56 quips per hour.

Most Extensive Civil Rights: 1stHighest Drug Use: 1stMost Pro-Market: 1stMost Politically Free: 2ndMost Extreme: 444thMost Stationary: 1,255thGreatest Rich-Poor Divides: 1,867thTop
Largest Populations: 6,318thNudest: 8,161stMost Influential: 9,492ndRudest Citizens: 10,132ndLargest Gambling Industry: 10,961stTop
Most Valuable International Artwork: 14,253rdMost World Assembly Endorsements: 16,300thHighest Economic Output: 21,578thMost Armed: 25,298th
Most Politically Free: 1st in the regionMost Extensive Civil Rights: 1st in the regionHighest Drug Use: 1st in the regionMost Pro-Market: 1st in the regionMost Extreme: 3rd in the regionMost Stationary: 13th in the regionTop
Greatest Rich-Poor Divides: 19th in the regionNudest: 55th in the regionLargest Populations: 61st in the regionLargest Gambling Industry: 62nd in the regionTop
Highest Crime Rates: 77th in the regionHighest Unexpected Death Rate: 109th in the regionMost Avoided: 112th in the regionFattest Citizens: 128th in the region

National Happenings

Most Recent Government Activity: