WTF 36

The Island That Never Was


The Island That Never Was – ‘Sandy Island’ is an island that supposedly existed for 116 years, but now scientists say otherwise.

Sandy Island,’ believed to be located between Australia and the New French Caledonia, was missing from it was listed on both Google Maps and the World Coastline Database.

The ‘Manhattan-sized’ island has been speculated to be in many different location, but roughly all of the seem to rougly between Australia and New French Caledonia. On Google Earth, the island turns into a black blur when you try to zoom in to see what it looks like and can not be located in the search bar, you have to search for the island by scrolling through the ocean.

For the past 116 years, Sandy Island was been believed to exist by numerous sources. Jethro Lennox, a publisher of The Times Atlas of the World, stated:

“Back in the 19th century, cartographers would gather their information from various sources like explorers or even sailors, so you could never have a perfect map.”

From 1967, The Times Atlas of the World identified the phantom isle, in the supposedly French territorial waters, as Sable Island, but was among few publications to remove it from the map, when it got new bathymetric data in 1999. It also does not appear on French maps from 2000. Local weather maps placed it 700 miles from the coast of Brisbane, Australia.

Maria Seton and Researcher Micklethwaite set out on a research expedition to study plate tectonics and this mysterious island happened to be on their route, and decided to sail by the island. The captain of the vessel was weary of the danger of running aground, but to their surprise they sailed straight through the island on the map. They speculate that decades ago when cartographers where assembling a world map, the island just happened to be added based on sailors memories. Along with the weather conditions of that region always covered the supposed location, the mistake is kind of understandable.

Do you think the island moved or never existed?