Interesting Facts About The Falkland Islands (UK) – The World’s Last Wilderness!
Welcome to the World’s Last Paradise!
A Sanctuary of Unspoilt Beauty
The Falkland islands are known to most foreigners for an event: The 1982 Falklands War. But these islands have a lot of positive things. Curiously, the Falklands islands are one of UK’s best-kept secrets: A scenic wilderness rich in fish and abundant marine mammals… nesting sea birds… Anglophone traditions, rich history… fresh seafood, traditional gardens, historic sites, recreation areas… Southern Atlantic whale sanctuary and an extraordinary blue sky, of course. This land was the home to Warrah, a unique animal which lived only in this archipelago until the mid-1800s. On the other hand, by 2007, the Falklands were considered as one of the “most interesting islands on Earth” by a panel of 522 well-traveled experts in a variety of fields, from eco-tourism, travel services and photography to geography, archaeology and historic preservation-, ahead of most tropical places such as Aruba, Cozumel (Mexico), Puerto Rico, Bali (Indonesia), and the Canary Islands (Spain).
An Archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean
The Falkland islands are a Southern Atlantic territory in South America (Western Hemisphere). It is made up of two big islands, East Falkland & West Falkland, and over 770 smaller islands. This amazing land is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom since 1830s. Unlike several places of the world, the island is not threatened by modern development. Its capital is Port Stanley. English is the official language on the islands. Although this land is 8,000 miles from Britain, the island feels more Briton than South American.
This land is one of the few paradises in the world for whale-watchers. There you can see many species of whales: Blue whale, fin whale, sei whale, Southern minke whale, Humpback whale, Southern right whale, sperm whale, killer whale, and Beaked whales. In addition, there are dolphins, leopard seals, Southern sea lions, and Southern elephants seals. Due to this atmosphere, a cruise-based wildlife tourism has emerged since the late 1960s. Without doubt, the Falklands offer an incredible spectacle!
The Island’s capital
The official capital, Port Stanley (East Falkland), is a beautiful city, combining British efficiency with the islander hospitality. There are 2,000 inhabitants. This city still maintains traditional lifestyles, making it a fascinating destination for visitors. Under the backdrop of traditional town houses, you can enjoy going for a jog on the island’s capital. Meanwhile, you can also visit seafood restaurants, with large selections of fresh fish from the Atlantic ocean. Curiously, Stanley, with its British-style, is one of the world’s southernmost cities.
The summer is the ideal time to visit the islands. During the summer there are long daylight hours despite an international perception that the archipelago is covered by snow all year-round.
A Paradise for Birdwatchers!
Strategically located between the Atlantic South and South America, the British dependency is a magical heavenly place. Why? It possesses an exceptionally bird life and diverse plant life. It holds more than 220 species of birds, ahead of most countries in Western Europe. There, you can find black-browed albatross, petrels, king penguins, upland gooses, Patagonian crested ducks, Chiloe wigeons, yellow-billed pintails, peregrine falcons, blackish oystercatcher, magellanic snipes, turkey vultures, gentoo penguins, rockhopper penguins, and macaroni penguins. For this reason, this territory is an ideal place for birdwatchers!
Aside from being a nature lover’s paradise, this land has other attractions as many historic areas. Prior to being a dependency from the United Kingdom, the islands were visited by French and Spaniard expeditions—all have left its legacy. Due to this, the islands have a rich history despite its small size. In the meantime, it preserves structures associated with the whaling industry, which had its golden era in the 18th and 19th centuries. Visitors can also learn about the history of the World War I: Curiously, the archipelago’s territorial waters was scene of major battles in December 1914 (known as the “Battle of the Falkland Islands”), where the United Kingdom defeated Germany. Decades later, it was the headquarters of the Royal Navy during the World War II. On the other hand, this British dependency offers an Anglophone traditions, and a territory not yet fully explored.
Freedom & Democracy
The British territory holds one of the most democratic societies of the world, well ahead of Latin America’s democratic— women enjoy a high status; respect for human rights; freedom of expression and opinion; education to all islanders. Currently Nigel Haywood is the Governor.
The attitude towards outsiders is very friendly. Because of this, this archipelago should win the award the “Most Friendly People of the World”.
With 4,700 sq. mi (12,173 km2), this British dependency is bigger than many countries around the globe:Jamaica (Caribbean), Singapore (Southeast Asia), Cyprus (Europe), Puerto Rico (Caribbean), Tonga (South Pacific), and Brunei Darussalam (Asia).
Education & Eco-Tourism
The island’s industry is well-organized. Thus, the Falkland islanders are conscious of their ecology despite the island has not changed much. Certainly, there is an emphasis on eco-tourism, taking advantage of its rich birdlife, marine wildlife, flora, and friendly people. In recent years, a group of experts said: “Tourist experiences in Stanley (capital) are educational and enjoyable. The residents are gracious. The island’s history and seafaring role are amply displayed”. In addition to its environmental spirit, the islands are one of the world’s most safest places to visit.
British, Scottish, Welsh…
Throughout its history, the Southern Atlantic island has attracted several settlers from Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland, who have transformed the Falklands into one of the most prosperous islands in the Commonwealth of the Nations.
British Citizens since 1983
Following its win over Argentina during the Falklands War (July 1982), UK’s administration -led by the Premier Margaret Thatcher– gave the islanders the right to become British citizens.
The Greatest Falkland Islander Athlete of All Time
The Archipelago’s capital, Stanley, was the birthplace and childhood home of the legendary athlete Louis Baillon who captured an Olympic gold medal as a member of the British men’s field hockey team in the Summer Olympiad in 1908 on English soil.
There is a notable dedication to the preservation of its history. Heritage sites and historic buildings appear to be well- protected by the island’s authorities and other organizations, being a wonderful example. Tours through the islands, including Government Palace, museums, art galleries, and theaters.
A World Record!
There are only 3,500 inhabitants on the islands, making it one of the most sparsely populated islands on Earth, along with Greenland (Denmark). The population of the islands have always been small. The islanders are one of the most homogeneous peoples on the Planet. Curiously, the ratio of tourist arrivals to residents is lower in the Falklands than any other Latin American place.
Indices of the high standard of public health in the territory include one of the highest levels of life expectancy in the Western Hemisphere.
Origin of the Name
At the turn of the 17th century: the archipelago was called Falkland by John Strong for Anthony Cary, 5th Viscount of Falkland, the treasurer of British navy.
An English-Speaking Place In South America
The Falkland islands are one of the two English-speaking places —alongside Guyana– in South America, a region with nine former Spaniard colonies and one Portuguese-speaking republic.