The curious case of the nonexistent island suggests there might be other surprises in store as Google Street View and its competitors continue their quest to capture images of every inch of the globe.
A Manhattan-sized island located in the Coral Sea seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth, while holding its place on nautical charts and digitized maps.
A reader first brought the island’s questionable existence to National Geographic’s attention in 2000, but the company determined there wasn’t enough conclusive evidence to erase the island.
That hard evidence came last week when an Australian scientific expedition sailed right over the coordinates of the island and found nothing but deep blue sea. The island has been mapped on authoritative nautical charts since the early 19th century and has made its way on to Google, Yahoo, and Bing maps.