Most Falklanders live and work in or around the capital Stanley
, leaving the rest of the cold, windswept hinterland
to sheep birds and seals.
Once the Warrah
, or Falkland Islands wolf, lived here but by 1880 this mammal was hunted
explorers may have spotted the isles in the 16th century but first to set foot here was John Strong in 1690, en route to Peru. The
first permanent settlements appeared in the 1760's and soon tension between Spain and Britain flared up on the issue of sovereignty.
1833 the Falklands are under British rule, but Argentina claims sovereignty over what they call the Islas Malvinas and even
invaded the islands in 1982.
In the ensuing Falklands War a British Expeditionary Force solidly defeated the invaders.
More than 900 soldiers lost their lives in this bloody conflict. Large stretches of land are stil closed to the public as they
are littered with landmines.
Before the Falklands War sheep farming carried the flailing economy, but, with help from
, fishing and tourism now support a booming economy.
Moreover the seas around the Falklands may hold large reserves
of oil that could further boost the economy.
As a British overseas territory the possible effects of Brexit are as of yet