Sometimes people living together in a water apartment cannot share a thing and conflicts start. But what if the apartment is all our land, and instead of people there are whole countries?
Rockall is a tiny island in the North Atlantic Ocean, 300 km west of the coast of Scotland. The total length of this rocky island is 31 m and a width of 25 m, and its entire area does not exceed 783 square meters.
Rockall rises 21 meters above the ocean, and huge waves constantly break on its rocky coast, especially high ones during winter storms.
The largest ocean waves in the world, reaching a height of 29 m, were recorded in 2000 just near this island. Such harsh conditions, combined with the small size of the island, do not allow even a lighthouse to be located here.
Against this background, it is doubly surprising that four countries claim to own the tiny rocky Rockall at once - Great Britain, Ireland, Denmark (representing the interests of the Faroe Islands) and Iceland.
The history of a desert island
Rockall is the summit of an extinct volcano. On its territory there is not a single freshwater source, and its main visitors are seabirds, which use this piece of land as a place for shelter in storms and for rest during long flights over the waters of the Atlantic.
Rockall is called the most isolated small rock that only exists in the ocean. No less vividly characterizes this place and the statement that even more people have visited the moon than Rockall Island.
But in fact, more people still visited here, but only four people stayed overnight on this piece of land amidst the formidable Atlantic.
If you believe Scottish legends, then the island was known to people in the VI century. It was originally referred to as "Rock" or "Rock". Its official discoverer in 1810 was the captain of the British ship HMS Endymion.
Since then, the name Rockall has been assigned to the island. Located in the center of the Atlantic, it has repeatedly become the site of shipwrecks, historical information about which dates back to the 17th century. In 1904, the steamer Norge, carrying 600 people, was wrecked here.
There have been attempts to land on the island before, but on September 18, 1955, British paratroopers were landed here with the aim of occupying Rockall. Under the command of Desmond Scott, a team of four landed on the island and raised the British flag there. A memorial plaque was also installed, the inscription on which said that the island comes under the jurisdiction of the British Queen.
An interesting fact is that later this act was considered the last territorial expansion of the British Empire. The British rushed to "appropriate" Rockall, so that no other country (especially the Soviet Union) could seize the no-man's island and place its observers there.
Such secrecy was especially relevant on the eve of tests of the Corporal rocket - the first nuclear missile launched over the North Atlantic.
An attractive piece of sushi
There is an assumption that there are rich deposits of oil and natural gas near Rockall. This is what caused the special interest of the four countries in the uninhabited rocky island. Since Rockall Island is located near the borders of these countries, each of them can put forward claims for the right to possess it in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
In addition to the official deed of annexation in 1955, Great Britain confirms its rights to the island with the corresponding Rockall Act of 1972, according to which this rocky land area is part of Scotland. The British also substantiate their claims to Rockall Island as a continental shelf in this region. But the rocks unsuitable for life cannot have the status of an economic zone and a continental shelf.
Requirements of the Faroe Islands
Based on the fact that Rockall shares the same continental shelf, which the people of the Faroes themselves call the "Faroe Rockall Plateau".
Iceland's claims are based on the claim that the island belongs to its territorial waters.
Ireland is also in action
Ireland cites the fact that geographically Rockall is located much closer to the Irish island (at a distance of 430 km) than to British territory.
Each of the four countries put forward their own proof of rights to the island, but Rockall continues to be the most uninhabited island in the world, regardless of all the demands put forward.
The Topic of Article: Rockall: Uninhabited Isle of Discord.