You’ve probably never even seen one of the world’s rarest passport books.
Why is that? Because only three (yeah, 3!) even exist, making the world’s rarest passport near impossible to find. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta’s passport is currently held by only three people, and is reserved exclusively for the highest ranking members of the Catholic order. The world’s rarest passports have only been issued to the order’s grand master, deputy grand master, and chancellor.
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If you’re wondering who these guys even are, their Wiki page describes them as, “The present-day continuation of the medieval Knights Hospitaller, now based in Rome, with origins in the Fraternitas Hospitalaria hospital founded circa 1048 by merchants from the Duchy of Amalfi in the Muristan district of Jerusalem.” Why, you wonder? Their goal around 1,000 years ago was to provide medical care to Holy Land pilgrims. Fascinating stuff, right? They’re currently the longest-standing brotherhood, which makes members Holy Grail-ninja types, if you ask us. *Attention Tom Hanks, can you see this?*
The world’s rarest passport has little practical value aside from pulling it out at drunken dinner parties to one-up everyone else at the table, though. In fact, the United States doesn’t even recognize this passport as legit, and travelers with the world’s rarest passport also have to cross the UK and New Zealand off their lists, because those nations also don’t accept the Sovereign Military Order of Malta’s passport books. If you find yourself in Germany, though? Break out a bottle of booze and pass the schnitzel — Germans treat this selective group as if they’re monarchs. You can also use it to visit the world’s cutest dog bar in Croatia without hassle.
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