South America, Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands or Islas Malvinas, island group, British dependency, in the South Atlantic Ocean, east of the Strait of Magellan and northeast of the southern tip of South America. The approximately 200 islands are divided into two main groups on the east and west by the narrow Falkland Sound. The Falkland Islands have a total area of 12,200 sq km (4,700 sq mi). The two largest islands are East Falkland Island, with an area of 6,610 sq km (2,550 sq mi), and West Falkland Island, with an area of 4,530 sq km (1,750 sq mi), including, in both cases, adjacent small islands.
The Falkland Islands (formerly known as the Falkland Islands and Dependencies) constitute a self-governing British dependency. Until 1985, South Georgia (4,070 sq km/1,570 sq mi), an island 1,300 km (800 mi) southeast of the Falkland Islands, and the South Sandwich Islands (3,590 sq km/ 1,390 sq mi), about 750 km (470 mi) southeast of South Georgia, were governed as dependencies of the Falklands. Under a new constitution, however, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands became a separate British dependency.
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