The UK spent $1.2 billion ($3.1 bilion, in today’s dollars) on a war to win back the Falkland Islands in 1982. Thirty-six years on, one of the 700-odd islands is now up for grabs—and you don’t even need to assemble your military to get it.
Pebble Island, the BBC reports, has been owned by members of the Dean family for 150 years. (They share it with 6,000 sheep, 125 cattle, and an uncountable scrum of birds, sea lions and penguins.) It’s proving too hard to manage, owner Sam Harris said, and it’s time to sell. They’ve already found buyers for their other islands and are now trying to find one for Pebble. Their ideal purchaser, Harris told the BBC, has an interest in farming, as the island produces a lot of British-bound wool.
The trouble is, no one’s quite sure how much to charge for it.
John Markham Dean, Harris’s great-great-grandfather, originally bought Pebble, and a cluster of other islands, for £400 back in 1869—roughly £45,250 ($57,203) now. But as it’s been in the family for such a long time, Harris said, it’s proven impossible for British estate agents to value: “There are no recent values on it they can go on. So we’re open to offers.”
Despite the four-mile pebble beach, this is no tropical paradise. Instead, the climate’s akin to Wales, or perhaps northern Oregon—lots and lots of rain, interspersed with drizzle, mist, and occasional showers. It’s about 20 miles (32 km) long, with its own tiny mountain range and striking cliffs. No one from the Harris family lives on the island, though tourists can visit and stay at a number of different lodges. (It’s an especially hot spot for birdwatchers and military history buffs.)
In a perfect world, Harris said, they’d like it to go to “someone who will really care for it”—the tourists, the biodiversity, and the sheep.