The Falkland Islands are located in the southwestern part of the Atlantic Ocean. The archipelago consists of two large islands and hundreds of smaller ones. Their total territory is about 12, 000 square kilometers, and the population does not exceed three thousand people. At the same time, about half a million sheep graze on local pastures - this is approximately 170 heads for each inhabitant. It is the export of sheep wool that brings the main budget income to the islands.
11 interesting facts about the Falkland Islands
- There is only one city in the Falkland Islands - Stanley, which is also the capital. Three quarters of the population of the islands live in this city, which looks more like a large village. The capital got its name in honor of Lord Edward Smith-Stanley, the famous British politician of the 19th century, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, who led the Conservative Party for twenty years. The city of Stanley on the island of Tasmania is also named after him.
- The Falkland Islands is an overseas territory of Great Britain, officially it is believed that their discoverer was the Englishman John Davis, who visited here in the nineties of the sixteenth century. True, the Spaniards, who are sure that their ancestors reached these places much earlier than the British, do not agree with this statement. Currently, the right to the Falklands is also disputed by Argentina, who even call them differently - the Malvinas Islands.
- In 1982, the confrontation between Great Britain and Argentina led to military conflict. The Argentines, claiming that these islands are part of their state, landed their troops on the islands, establishing control over them. The British reacted quickly, sending their troops here. The armed conflict lasted two months, according to official sources, 649 Argentine military, 249 British and three local residents became victims of the confrontation. The British managed to retain their right to the Falkland Islands, gaining victory in this confrontation. On October 12, 1982, the Victory Parade was held in London. Argentina considers defeat only in this battle, but not in war, without abandoning its claims to the archipelago. The country annually celebrates the Day of Veterans and Fallen in the Malvinas War on April 2.
- The climate of the Falkland Islands is severely affected by the proximity of Antarctica. Even in summer, the air temperature here rarely warms up above 20 degrees. But, temperature fluctuations are not great throughout the year, in the winter months it is just below zero degrees.
- Most of the locals are descendants of immigrants from the UK. But, in recent years, in order to increase the population of the archipelago, the entry of immigrants from Asian and African countries has been simplified. Therefore, you can often see black residents here. The main occupation of the islanders is sheep breeding and fishing.
- Sea and air transport play a huge role in the life of the Foldkland. After all, this is the only opportunity to visit outside the islands. There are two airports here, and one of them is capable of serving even international flights. At the beginning of the twentieth century, even a railway line with a length of just over five kilometers was built here, but after a few years it was closed.
- Five species of penguins and a large number of seabirds can be found on the coast of the Falkland Islands. Once upon a time, the Falkland fox was found on the island, which began to be actively exterminated already in the 19th century, since it posed a danger to sheep - the basis of the economy of the Falkland Islands. The last individual was killed back in 1876, the fox was the only land mammal on the islands.
- In 1899, the Falkland Islands had their own currency, the Falkland Pound, which is still in circulation today. Its exchange rate is pegged to the pound sterling in a 1: 1 ratio. Since 1974, the Falklands have had their own coins. At the same time, the pound sterling and UK coins are also legal tender here.
- In 2013, a referendum was held in the Falkland Islands - should the archipelago remain a part of the UK? About 1, 500 people took part in the voting. The results of the referendum are as follows - only three people voted for the independence of the Falkland Islands.
- Remains of Port Louis, the oldest settlement on the islands, can be seen in the Falklands. Port Louis was founded back in 1764 by French sailors. Until now, there is a farm built in the 19th century and the ruins of the palace of the French governor.
- There are suggestions that there are huge reserves of oil on the shelf of the islands, their approximate volume is estimated at 60 billion barrels. Exploration has been going on for more than a decade, if the assumptions are confirmed, then a real oil boom will begin here. At the same time, local residents fear that the extraction of "black gold" will lead to the collapse of sheep breeding, which consistently brings good income.