Australian Scientists 'Undiscover' An Island By Sailing Straight Through It

Sandy IslandTopographical map showing the proposed location of Sandy Island

Photo: Wikipedia

Geologists from the University of Sydney have discovered that Sandy Island, a Manhattan-sized island that shows up on Google maps and other charts between Australia and New Caledonia, does not actually exist.   The Australian scientists were aboard the RV Southern Surveyor on a 25-day expedition studying plate tectonics when they “undiscovered” the island.  

The crew thought they would check out the mysterious island since it was in the path of their route, but immediately grew sceptical of its existence when they did not see it on a navigation chart aboard their ship, according to The Guardian’s Luke Harding.  

The island’s non-existence was confirmed when the RV Southern Surveyor sailed right through where the 60-square-mile island should have been. 

 A crew member told The Guardian:

“This was one of those intriguing questions. It wasn’t far outside of our path. We decided to actually sail through the island … Lo and behold there was nothing! The ocean floor didn’t ever get shallower than 1300 metres below the wave-base. There’s an island in the middle of nowhere that doesn’t actually exist.”

The non-existence of Sandy Island was also reported in 2000 by ham radio enthusiasts who embarked on a voyage to find the island, according to The Daily Mail’s Damien Gayle. Apparently, not all maps were changed. 

A cartographic expert tells MailOnline that Sandy Island is “the result of an error in digitizing satellite photos.”

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