Aussie scientists un-discover Pacific island

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A South Pacific island identified on Google Earth and world maps does not exist, according to Australian scientists who went searching for the mystery landmass during a geological expedition.


The sizeable phantom island in the Coral Sea is shown as Sandy Island on Earth and and is supposedly midway between Australia and the French-governed New Caledonia.

The Times Atlas of the World appears to identify it as Sable Island. Weather maps used by the Southern Surveyor, an Australian maritime research vessel, also say it exists, according to Dr Maria Seton.

But when the Southern Surveyor, which was tasked with identifying fragments of the Australian submerged in the Coral Sea, steamed to where the island was supposed to be, it was nowhere to be found.

“We wanted to check it out because the navigation charts on board the ship showed a water depth of 1,400 metres (4,620 feet) in that area—very deep,” Seton, from the University of Sydney, told AFP after the 25-day voyage.

“It’s on Google Earth and other maps so we went to check and there was no island. We’re really puzzled. It’s quite bizarre.

“How did it find its way onto the maps? We just don’t know, but we plan to follow up and find out.”

News of the invisible island sparked debate on social media, with tweeter Charlie Loyd pointing out that Sandy Island is also on Yahoo Maps as well as Bing Maps “but it disappears up close”.

On www.abovetopsecret.com , discussions were robust with one poster claiming he had confirmed with the French hydrographic office that it was indeed a phantom island and was supposed to have been removed from charts in 1979.

Written By: PhysOrg
continue to source article at phys.org

11 COMMENTS

  1.   “We wanted to check it out because the navigation charts on board the ship showed a water depth of 1,400 metres (4,620 feet) in that area—very deep,” Seton, from the University of Sydney, told AFP after the 25-day voyage.

    With this depth of water, it is very unlikely that there was ever an island there.

    I would guess, someone put in the wrong coordinates for some other island, or misread some atmospheric feature on a satellite image.  
    Perhaps there was some copying among map-makers?

  2. Some map companies will add false streets into their street atlases as a way of protecting their work.
    If that fake street appears in another company’s atlas then they know
    that that company has stolen their work.  Copyright infringement!  I
    suspect this is what is happening here.

  3. For those who wanted to know.  This is  the island in question, which frankly looks like a line’s been smudged in, especially when compared with actual landmasses (hence the zoom out picture on the left, with “sandy island” circled, top to bottom it’s about the longitude size of the isle of wight).  I’m inclined to agree with Darwinoslore on it’s existence, though  who copied who will be more difficult to tell.  Unless this is Godzilla’s normal resting place and the Australian scientists just happenned to look on a day when the creature had swam to tokyo to wreak some havok.

  4. It was only supposed to be a small nuke weapons test that no one would notice. Slight miscalculation on yield.

    They’ve sworn off nukes ever since. And the ADF has been saving up for years to purchase and install a replacement before anyone finds out. But they didn’t count on Google publishing sat pics for every square cm on Earth.

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