Some lovers promise to part the ocean for you. Others just buy you a part of it.
According to Chinese local newspaper The Modern Express, a guy in China whose last name is Zhang gifted his girlfriend an expanse of the open ocean. He reportedly did this in a lavish attempt to make up for forgetting to give her something on May 20 (or 520), which is basically China’s version of Valentine’s Day. He probably got the idea after his girlfriend jokingly put up a post on Chinese social media platform Weibo saying, “next holiday I want the stars in the sky and the Earth’s great sea."
So he gave her exactly that. 210 hectares of it to be exact. That’s roughly the size of a football field in an ocean near the Cheniushan Island off the coast of Shandong province. And he spent 682,662 yuan ($99,000) on buying the exclusive usage rights for it from a fish farming company.
From proposing with 4,500 diapers to arranging 999 pomelos in the shape of a heart, dudes in China have always been up to some crazy shit in the name of love. But can you actually just gift someone an ocean?
The UN set the Law of the Sea Convention in 1982, allowing territorial sea boundaries of 12 miles offshore and exclusive economic zones up to 200 miles offshore. But while a widely discussed topic, the jury’s still out on ocean privatisation or private companies and individuals owning parts of aquatic land. However, a lawyer in Beijing says it’s possible to at least acquire usage rights.
Speaking to Chinese media platform The Paper, Beijing-based lawyer Zhang Xinnian said, “Property law states that territorial waters belong to the country and cannot be sold or bought. However, the country also protects usage rights that are acquired legally. According to China’s law on sea area use, organizations and individuals can apply for sea usage rights with the marine affairs administrative department.” He even added that anyone who acquires usage rights to areas like this through auctions or other such procedures can transfer, rent, or mortgage them at any point during the lease.
TBH though, it may be quite a flex, because what even is the girlfriend going to do with it other than catch some fresh fish or have private skinny dipping parties. Still, there might be plenty of fish in the sea, but not all of them will give you your very own ocean.
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This article originally appeared on VICE ASIA.