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The New York Times Accidentally Invented a Country and the Internet Is in Love with It


(Image: Nation States)

Have you ever visited Kyrzbekistan? You should. It's a beautiful land with a rich culture and a friendly people. It also doesn't exist, but that shouldn't stop you.

Last week, a New York Times article described Kyrgyzstan, a real nation in central Asia. But it was misspelled as "Kyrzbekistan." The editors eventually corrected the error, but not before the people of the internet had run wild, describing the history, geography, and politics of it. You can find some basic facts about the landlocked nation here.

Kyrzbekistan has its own official Twitter feed, which you can follow to keep up on local news and learn about the Kyzrekistani culture. The nation is diversifying its traditional yak-based economy and encouraging international investment. So if you receive an email from a Kyrzbekistani prince asking for assistance in banking, you should probably take him up on the offer. There may also be an ambassadorship open.

-via Marilyn Terrell


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You'll have to wait until the hype dies down before you try that. Right now, the second Google Search result for Kyrzbekistan is Buzzfeed (right after the Twitter feed), and they put "Non-Existent" right in their headline. Way to spoil a joke.
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I'm going to try to work it into one of my classes on information literacy at my library. Maybe I'll ask students to do basic research on the country with Google, then tell them that it's fake.
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