Unfortunately, Marvel’s fictional land of Wakanda is just that: fiction. But that isn’t stopping Black Panther fans from trying to find King T’Challa’s vibranium kingdom. The search has led some to stumble upon an unassuming location in the Midwest—the small town of Wauconda, Illinois.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Wauconda, which is pronounced the same way as Wakanda, received its first phone call of someone yelling “Wakanda Forever!” on Tuesday. The small town of only 13,758 residents, according the U.S. Census Bureau, has almost nothing in common with the mythical land set in East Africa, but these Black Panther fanatics don’t care.
“We had a guy call and [he] was shouting that. I was a little confused,” said Alise Homola, who works at Wauconda’s village hall. “He was joking around about it. He just said that ‘I was searching the Wakanda from the movie, and your village came up, so I thought I’d call you and give you a hard time.’”
The city actually has no ties to Africa whatsoever, but was named after a Native American chief and translates to “Spirit Water,” according to the town’s website.
Homola said the town is also receiving emails, and at least one person has reached out asking for some vibranium, according to the Daily Dot. Vibranium is a fictional metal from the Marvel Universe that Wakanda and King T'Challa's Black Panther suit are made out of. Of course, vibranium does not exist anywhere on Earth, especially not in northern Illinois.
Check out some of the hilarious reactions to the Wauconda/Wakanda connection below.