Man pays $142,000 to buy girlfriend a piece of ocean

A picture from the auction site – presumably of the 210ha slice of Chinese ocean.
A picture from the auction site – presumably of the 210ha slice of Chinese ocean.

Millions of men worldwide have had to spend big over the years to make up for forgetting a Valentine’s Day gift for their better half.

But one man in China must have been in the world’s biggest doghouse, with his bid to make amends seeing him purchase 210 hectares of ocean off the Chinese coast.

The body of water, off the coast of the Shandong province, set him back 682,662 yuan (around $142,000) in an online auction, according to Modern Express.

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According to Sixth Tone, other local media reported seeing screenshots from social media app WeChat, which showed the woman claiming her partner had bought the slab of sea, in the ultimate romantic gesture after forgetting to buy her a gift on May 20, one of China’s unofficial Valentine’s Days.

The property’s auction page suggests the woman will have exclusive usage rights over 210 hectares of ocean near Cheniushan Island, which was formerly owned by a fish farming company.

The online auction page for the piece of ocean in China.

Beijing-based lawyer Zhang Xinnian told The Paper, Sixth Tone’s sister publication, that while the man’s payment for a significant area of ocean seems implausible, buying the usage rights for sections of the sea is a legitimate practice.

“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,” Zhang says.