In the Marvel universe, Wakanda is the fictional East African home country of superhero Black Panther. Wakanda first appeared in the Fantastic Four comic in 1966 and made a reappearance when Black Panther was adapted into an Oscar-winning film last year.
But Wakanda slipped into reality when a New York-based software engineer who was looking up agricultural tariffs for a fellowship he was applying for, found it listed as a free-trade partner in the US Department of Agriculture alongside other countries like Columbia. Until Wednesday, the made-up east African country was listed on the drop-down menu for the agriculture department’s foreign agricultural service’s tariff tracker.
Wakanda is listed as a US free trade partner on the USDA website?? pic.twitter.com/xcq1OFTIPh
— Francis Tseng (@frnsys) December 18, 2019
Amongst the commodities listed under Wakanda were “live asses”, “mules and hinnies” and several other farm animals. Potatoes and chestnuts were also reportedly listed. Wakanda’s heart-shaped purple flowers that appeared to give Black Panther his god-like powers were nowhere in the list.
After the listing was removed, the USA Department of Agriculture said the fiction country was added to its systems while it conducted testing.
“Over the past few weeks, the foreign agricultural service staff who maintain the tariff tracker have been using test files to ensure that the system is running properly. The Wakanda information should have been removed after testing and has now been taken down,” the spokesperson said.