In recent years, a curious trend has emerged among some Indians—a fascination with buying plots of land on the moon. Despite the impossibility of ever setting foot on their lunar estates, thanks to international space laws, people are still making these purchases. Whether it’s a romantic gesture or simply a whimsical investment, the allure of owning a piece of the moon is captivating many. But what’s behind this celestial fascination, and why are people willing to part with their money for something they will never truly own?
The Romantic Notion
Buying a piece of the moon as a gift or a declaration of love has a poetic allure. It’s the modern-day equivalent of promising someone the stars, and for many, the romantic aspect alone justifies the expense. Companies that offer these deeds often provide customised certificates, replete with the specific ‘coordinates’ of the plot, adding a personalised touch to this otherworldly gift.
A Novelty Factor
For some, the idea of owning land on the moon is less about romance and more about the sheer novelty. It’s a unique talking point, a quirky addition to one’s portfolio, and let’s be honest—a great story to tell at parties. The entertainment value is sometimes worth the price tag for those looking for something out of the ordinary.
The Legal Void
While the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, to which India is a signatory, stipulates that celestial bodies, including the moon, cannot be owned by any individual or country, the enforcement of this law is somewhat nebulous. Companies selling lunar land often exploit this legal grey area, making it easier for people to justify the purchase.
FOMO: Fear of Missing Out
The renewed interest in space exploration has also contributed to the trend. As countries and private companies ramp up their lunar missions, the notion of civilian space travel doesn’t seem as far-fetched as it once did. This sense of impending opportunity has led some to believe they might as well stake their claim now, however symbolic it may be.
India has a rich tradition of astronomy and celestial reverence, from ancient scriptures to modern-day festivals that worship the moon. This cultural affinity for celestial bodies could partly explain why the idea of owning a piece of the moon holds such appeal.
The Reality Check
Despite the emotional or novelty value, the fact remains that these ‘ownership deeds’ are not legally binding. Those who buy lunar land are essentially purchasing a piece of paper, not a legal claim. The companies selling these plots are capitalising on the emotional and psychological factors that drive people to make such purchases.
The allure of the moon has captivated human imagination for millennia. While buying a piece of lunar land may seem like a tangible way to connect with this celestial fascination, it’s crucial to remember that these transactions have no legal standing. Whether driven by love, novelty, or cultural significance, those who indulge in this trend are buying into a dream—a dream as intangible as the moonbeams themselves.