“Hey buddy, you wanna buy a moon? And not just any moon, but THE Moon?” You’ve just entered the crazy world of extraterrestrial real estate.Throughout history, a lot of men have laid claim to the Moon. The Chilean poet Jenaro Gajardo Vera registered his claim with a local notary in 1953:
JENARO GAJARDO VERA, lawyer, poet, is the owner from before the year 1857, adding to the possessions of his ancestors the celestial body and only satellite of the Earth, with a diameter of 3,475.99 kilometers, under the name of Moon, whose boundaries are, due to being an spheroidal body: North, South, East and West: outer space.
He did so partly because the local social club wouldn’t admit you unless you owned property.
A German claimed that his ancestors were deeded the Moon by Frederick the Great in 1756; a self-help book author claimed all of outer space in 1948 on behalf of his self-created Nation of Celestial Space. Others have tried to sell plots on the Moon, so maybe he was onto something.
The official word is that most of the countries of the world have signed the Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits sovereign claims of the moon and everything else out there.
I live in Auckland, New Zealand, and am curious about most things.