Have you heard of the tiny island nation of Niue? Neither had we, but it turns out this beautiful oasis is also a virtual utopia for nerds everywhere.
The small paradise sits in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, about 2400 kilometres from the shores of New Zealand, and measures only around 160 square kilometres, so you’re excused for not having heard of it. So why is it such a delightful place for nerds like us?
Let’s start off with its groundbreaking history. Back in 2003, the tiny nation of Niue became the first ever country in the world to offer free wi-fi to its entire population. I mean, this was before Netflix. Talk about forward thinking.
Just over 1000 people live on this Polynesian island, and it seems they all have great taste in pop culture. How do we know? Well in 2001, the country’s officials decided it would be a fantastic idea to put Pokémon characters on their currency, and we have to whole-heartedly agree that these coins are the best currency we’ve seen.
Each was worth NZ$1, and featured the Niue Coat of Arms on one side while the reverse had either a Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, or Meowth on it.
Since then, other pop-culture collections have been released including Disney, Star Wars and Dr. Who-themed coinage.
The coins still serve as legal tender, though they’ve become somewhat of a collector’s item in recent years, with some fetching upwards of $1000 online. Keen? Gotta catch ’em all.
(All photos: New Zealand Mint except lead image, via Niue Island)