under direct authority of the Minister of Overseas France.
It is low-lying and largely barren, save for scattered grasses and a few clumps of coconut palms. A small volcanic outcrop rising to 29 m (95 ft) on its south-east side is referred to as "Clipperton Rock". The atoll has been occupied at various times by guano miners, would-be settlers or military personnel, mostly from Mexico, which claimed it until international arbitration awarded it to France in 1931.
Clipperton has had no permanent inhabitants since 1945. It is visited on occasion by fishermen, French Navy patrols, scientific researchers, film crews, and shipwreck survivors. It has been a popular site for transmissions by ham radio operators.