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Culture

Out of this World

Looking for a present that is out of this world? Take a look behind the door of today's Advent calendar and find an idea that will send a loved one over the moon.

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Looking for a nice, quiet piece of land with a good view of the stars? Lunar Embassy, a company which deals in extraterrestrial real estate, promises a piece of land that is simply out of this world – on the moon.

The company Lunar Embassy was founded in 1980 after US entrepreneur Dennis Hope registered a real estate claim to the surface of the moon with the US government. Hope discovered a loophole in the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty which forbids governments, but not individuals, from owning extraterrestrial property.

Hope's claim ignited debate, with experts in space law dismissing his property ideas as a joke, a fraud or an illusion. But Hope sticks to his property ambitions and his idea is a running success. Over 900,000 people have registered for a chunk of the moon, including Hollywood stars, former US Presidents and ex-"Star Trek" actors.

At a price of about $16 for an acre of dusty ground, the offer is definitely a bargain.

To make things easier for European customers, Lunar Embassy set up a branch in Germany. Under www.mondland.de, Germans can order their own chunk of the moon. And for those with very special extraterrestrial wishes for this year's Christmas stocking, how about the "All in one" Christmas set: A piece of the moon along with Mars and Venus.

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