The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has listed Wakanda as a free-trade partner despite it being a fictional country.
Although a USDA spokesperson said the Kingdom of Wakanda was added to the list by accident, the department’s online tariff tracker hosted a detailed list of goods the two nations apparently traded, including ducks, donkeys and dairy cows.
In the Marvel universe, Wakanda is the fictional East African home country of superhero, Black Panther.
The fictional country was removed soon from the list after US media first queried it, prompting jokes that the countries had started a trade war.
Wakanda first appeared in the Fantastic Four comic in 1966 and made a reappearance when Black Panther was adapted into an Oscar-winning movie last year.
This is not the first time a fictional country has slipped into the real world. In 2017, Poland’s then-Foreign Minister, Witold Waszczykowski told reporters that he had met representatives of a number of nations to discuss Poland’s bid to join the UN security council ‘such as Belize or San Escobar’. While Belize does exist, San Escobar does not.
At the same time, officials had occasionally erased countries which actually did exist.
In 2004 for example, the cover of an EU guidebook featured a map of EU member states, including the United Kingdom but Wales was mysteriously absent.