Fact Check: Rothschild Family Did NOT Buy, Does NOT Own Antarctica's Rothschild Island

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Rothschild Family Did NOT Buy, Does NOT Own Antarctica's Rothschild Island No One's Land

Did the Rothschild family buy or do they own Rothschild Island in Antarctica? No, that's not true: The island, which is part of Antarctica and not owned by anyone, was sighted from a distance by the French Antarctic Expedition between 1908 and 1910. The expedition leader, Jean-Baptiste Charcot, named it after Baron Edouard de Rothschild, the then-head of the French branch of the Rothschild family and of the Rothschild Brothers Bank.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on Facebook by Wentworth Bros on November 24, 2023. The post's caption says:

Rothschild Island is a thing #Epstein #conspiracies #conspiracytheory #joerogan #illuminati

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:


(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Nov 29 15:42:16 2023 UTC)

The video

The 31-second clip features brothers Drew and Randy Wentworth, who post videos on social media under the moniker The Wentworth Bros. Here's what they said about Rothschild Island:

Drew: Everyone knows about Epstein Island, but have you heard about Rothschild's Island?

Randy: I don't even know who that is.

Drew: The Rothschilds are, like, the most mainstream name when it comes to the Illuminati. Everybody knows about 'em. But yeah, they bought an island off the coast of Antarctica. Why would you want an island in Antarctica?

Randy: Why would anyone go to Antarctica?

Drew: I think there could be, like, secret tunnels they have built-in under there.

Randy: Your go-to is always secret tunnels.

Drew: There's no other reason for them to have an island.

Randy: Penguins?

The Illuminati, as mentioned in the video, is a historic organization that conspiracy theorists believe has worldwide control over celebrities, world leaders and current events.

Rothschild Island

The claim made about Rothschild Island by Drew Wentworth in the clip is stated as fact with no supporting evidence. The 24-mile-long isle is not owned by the family; it's named after one of its ancestors. As part of Antarctica, it is the property of no one. The entire continent is managed under the Antarctic Treaty, which includes these provisions:

  • Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only
  • Freedom of scientific investigation in Antarctica and cooperation toward that end... shall continue
  • Scientific observations and results from Antarctica shall be exchanged and made freely available

The original treaty, signed in 1959, was signed by 12 nations, including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the United States, and the Soviet Union. A total of 56 nations are now party to the treaty.

Rothschild family

The Rothschild family is a popular target for far-right conspiracy theories, often surrounding their wealth and claims that they control or hold great power over global financial systems. Lead Stories has previously debunked claims about the Rothschilds.

Read more

Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims related to the Rothschild family can be found here.

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  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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