Rockall (/ˈrɒkɔːl/) is an uninhabited remote granite islet of the United Kingdom in the North Atlantic Ocean situated at the following rough distances from the closest large islands: 430 km (270 miles) north-west of Ireland, 460 km (290 miles) west of Great Britain and 700 km (440 miles) south of Iceland. It is within the United Kingdom's exclusive economic zone, and in 1973 became part of the Na h-Eileanan Siar council area (which comprises the Outer Hebrides), however is designated as belonging to no specific electoral ward. The nearest permanently inhabited place is North Uist, an island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, 370 km (230 miles) to the east.Since the late 16th century, the 17.15-metre-high (56.27 ft) rock has been noted in written records, although it is likely that some northern Atlantic fishermen knew of the rock before these historical accounts were made. In the 20th century, the location of the islet became a major interest due to the potential oil and fishing rights, spurring continued debate amongst several European nations.Lord Kennet said of it in 1971, ""There can be no place more desolate, despairing and awful."" It gives its name to one of the sea areas named in the shipping forecast provided by the British Meteorological Office.Rockall has been a point of interest for adventurers and amateur radio operators who have variously landed on or briefly occupied the islet. Fewer than 20 individuals have ever been confirmed to have landed on Rockall, and the longest continuous stay by an individual is currently 45 days. In a House of Commons debate in 1971, William Ross, MP for Kilmarnock, said: ""More people have landed on the moon than have landed on Rockall.""In 1956 the British scientist James Fisher referred to the island as ""the most isolated small rock in the oceans of the world"". The neighbouring Hasselwood Rock and several other pinnacles of the surrounding Helen's Reef are smaller, at half the size of Rockall or less, and equally remote, but those formations are legally not islands or points on land, as they are often submerged completely, only revealed momentarily above certain types of ocean surface waves.The United Kingdom claimed Rockall in 1955 and had previously claimed an extended exclusive economic zone based on it. This claim to an extended zone was dropped upon ratifying UNCLOS in 1997, since rocks or islets such as Rockall that cannot sustain human habitation or economic life are not entitled to an exclusive economic zone under the Convention. However, such features are entitled to a territorial sea extending 12 nautical miles. The UK's claim to territorial waters around Rockall was previously disputed by Ireland on the basis of uncertain ownership of the rock. With effect from 31 March 2014, the UK and Ireland published EEZ limits which resolved any disputes over the ownership of the islet.In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the British Government has said, ""The islet of Rockall is part of the UK: specifically it forms part of Scotland under the Island of Rockall Act 1972. No other state has disputed our claim to the islet.""