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Islands that disappear have always been interesting to me.  Like Hog Island of New York.  There’s actually very little (useful) information on it.  Which makes it all the more interesting.  One day it was there.  The next day (after a category 2 hurricane made landfall) it was gone.  Mostly.  It took awhile after that to completely disappear but essentially, the whole island disappeared.  Because of a hurricane.  Interesting.

It has recently come to my attention that there has been another disappearing island.  This one is of a slightly different nature.  It’s disappearance is not so much because of a natural disaster but probably because it never existed in the first place.  Here, let me show you.

This is Sandy Island, which I have so helpfully circled, pointed to, and labeled for you.  You can see that it’s supposedly in the South Pacific, the Coral Sea actually, and located about halfway between New Caledonia and Australia (not shown).  Now then, drawn maps are all well and good, but sometimes cartographers can make mistakes.  Let me show you the satellite image of the same area.

This is the same exact area on the same scale as before.  Note where Sandy Island is supposed to be.  Note that it’s just a black blob.  I’ve even put in an inset for you to help clarify it’s black blobbiness.  Google does not have any photos of Sandy Island.  Why?  Because it doesn’t exist.  Tada!  Disappearing island!  Interesting!

Now then, I’m sure the conspiracy theorists among you can think of SO. MANY. reasons why Google and some others show a nonexistent island on their maps.  But really…rly??  Simple human error, says I.  Maps used to be made by compiling information from different sailors.  It’s not like they were the most accurate things ever.  Maps are much more accurate now since cartographers can actually get to an area and map it via plane, satellite, radar, sonar, etc, etc.  We have so much technology now that has helped cartography.  My guess is that this island had made it onto a database somewhere and the printers just propagated the error, thinking that someone surely must have checked the existence of a whole island.

Anyway, here is how I first learned of Sandy Island.  I especially like the part where the captain of the boat is nervous about sailing through an island that isn’t there because it was on his weather maps but not his navigation charts.  He was afraid they might run aground only to find out that the ocean is really deep where the island supposedly is.

Oh, and here.  I found the wikipedia article on the island.  It’s listed as a “phantom island.”  Hehehe.


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