This fascinating video explains everything you never understood about the Vatican

Though the Vatican has faded from the spotlight somewhat since the election of the new pope in March, this hilarious, confounding explainer of how the world’s smallest nation works is still worth a watch. (Maybe two or three, just to let it sink in.)

Among the trivia you may or may not have known, according to the video: The Vatican owned vast swaths of modern Italy until the 1870s, the country has almost zero female citizens (32 in all, according to a 2011 report), and its government represents the world’s only elected, non-hereditary, absolute monarchy.

To quote creator C.G.P. Grey, something of a celebrity in the niche world of educational YouTube videos, “hold on to your fancy hat, because it’s about to get weird.”

Caitlin Dewey runs The Intersect blog, writing about digital and Internet culture. Before joining the Post, she was an associate online editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
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Max Fisher · April 11, 2013