A Pakistani man has surprised everyone with his unique and unconventional choice of wedding gift for his wife. Sohaib Ahmed from Pakistan’s Rawalpindi decided to move beyond the conventions of gifting jewelry, cars and other things. Hence, he decided to gift her a piece of land. On the MOON.
Ahmed has reportedly bought one-acre lunar land in the region called ‘Sea of Vapour’ for his wife as a wedding gift. The land was bought at a cost of $45 from the International Lunar Lands Registry.
Ahmed said he wanted to do something different and hence bought a piece of lunar land after he heard that the late Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput had bought a ‘piece of moon’ in 2018. Rajput reportedly bought the land in a region called Mare Muscoviense, or the ‘Sea of Muscovy’.
Several celebrities including Tom Cruise and Shah Rukh Khan reportedly ‘own land on the moon’.
In a video that has been shared on social media platforms, the couple is seen telling a reporter from a local news channel how their friends had a hard time believing that they actually bought the land. He also shows the papers he received. Sohaib’s wife Mediha told a local news channel that now one of her friends also wants her fiancé to gift her a plot of land on the moon for their wedding.
The couple received the documents at their home via US Postal Service.
This is not the first time people have shown documents and claimed to have bought a piece of the moon. Rajeev V Bagdi, an Indian, had earlier claimed that he had also allegedly purchased a plot on the Moon for $140 from the New York-based Lunar Society International in 2003.
But let’s do a bit of fact-checking. Can land on the moon be actually bought? If yes, can anyone purchase it?
In July, a resident of Bodh Gaya, Neeraj Kumar had also done a similar thing and bought an acre of land on the moon. He, however said the process was difficult and tiresome and Kumar had contacted the US society ‘Luna Society International’ for the same back in October 2019.
But a look at the Outer Space Treaty immediately negates any such claims made by people or institutions as one can’t actually buy property on the moon, according to the treaty.
Buying land on the moon is illegal as per the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and it has been signed by 109 nations, including India.
As per the Treaty, “outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.”
So, the question arises, how are these people from earth buying pieces of land?! The catch is a loophole in the Treaty which has been used to counter the rules in the treaty.
The language in the Treaty is specific to national ownership and as a result there has been no no legal consensus on whether or not the prohibition extends to private companies or individuals.