Sandy Island Off South Pacific Dubbed a Hoax
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | November 23, 2012 1:01 PM EST
An island off the South Pacific has been discovered to be a hoax or non-existent by a group of Australian scientists, despite being visible on marine charts and world maps, even on Google Earth.
The land mass, named Sandy Island, was supposedly located between Australia and New Caledonia. It is identified as Sable Island by the Times Atlas of the World.
But when scientists from the University of Sydney, aboard Southern Surveyor, a new Marine National Facility research vessel, went looking for the island to confirm its existence, it found only a massive 1,400 metres or 4,620 feet of blue deep ocean waters.
The scientists were puzzled with the discovery.
"Even onboard the ship, the weather maps the captain used had showed an island in this location," Dr Maria Seton, the voyage's chief scientist, said.
For at least a decade, the non-existent island has been featured in a number of publications relative to geography and marine subjects.
"We wanted to check it out because the navigation charts on board the ship showed a water depth of 1,400m in that area - very deep," Dr Seton told the AFP after a 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."
"We all had a good giggle at Google as we sailed through the island, then we started compiling information about the seafloor, which we will send to the relevant authorities so that we can change the world map," Steven Micklethwaite from the University of Western Australia said.
But according to some forums, such as www.abovetopsecret.com, the questionable existence of the island was deliberately placed on the map.
"Many mapmakers put in deliberate but unobtrusive and non-obvious 'mistakes' into their maps so that they can know when somebody steals the map data," an unidentified commenter was quoted by ABC News.
A Google Earth spokesman said they refer to a diversity of authoritative sources when creating their maps.
"The world is a constantly changing place," the spokesman told AFP, "and keeping on top of these changes is a never-ending endeavor."
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Join the Conversation
- Kobani ISIS Fighter Sends Out Desperate Message For Prayers And Support: Euphoria Turns Into Desperation As Kurds Advance
- Israel''s Al Aqsa and East Jerusalem Issues Threatening Its Multi Billion Gas Deal With Jordan
- China Is Building An Island In The Spratly Islands—Report
- ISIS War: US Airstrikes Lead to Growing ISIS Support In Syria; Russia Questions Coalition's Policies
- New Zealand's Surveillance Laws Are Anti-People, Says Green Party leader Russel Norman
- Russia's New Tactical Nuclear Weapons Program Growing Confident Against the US: Talks of World War III
- Apple and Google Engage in Thermonuclear War, New Google Translate Chat App in the Works
- Walmart Offers the Best 2014 Black Friday Deals on iPhone 6, iPad Ai2 & Other Gadgets – Reports
- Chris Algieri’s Battered Face Trends On Social Media
- Highest Paid NBA Players 2014: NBA Stars Who Earn More Than LeBron James
- Update Samsung Galaxy S5 to Android 4.4.4 KitKat, Sprint Release and Installation
- More Nexus 6 Problems Arise with Android 5.0 Lollipop, Poor Benchmark Results and Other Issues