We construct log canonical pairs $(X,B)$ with $B$ a nonzero reduced divisor and $K_X+B$ ample that have the smallest known volume. We conjecture that our examples have the smallest volume in each dimension. The conjecture is true in dimension 2, by Liu and Shokurov. The examples are weighted projective hypersurfaces that are not quasi-smooth. We also develop an example for a related extremal problem. Esser constructed a klt Calabi-Yau variety which conjecturally has the smallest mld in each dimension (for example, mld $1/13$ in dimension 2 and $1/311$ in dimension 3). However, the example was only worked out completely in dimensions at most 18. We now prove the desired properties of Esser's example in all dimensions (in particular, determining its mld).