Destinations Australia, NZ & South Pacific

National Geographic strikes Sandy Island from all maps since it doesn’t exist

@SamShankman

Dec 01, 2012 1:50 am

Skift Take

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.

— Samantha Shankman

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NOAA's National Ocean Service  / Flickr.com

A beautiful sky shot in the Philippines from the Research Vessel Melville. NOAA's National Ocean Service / Flickr.com


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.

Sandy, or Sable, Island’s inexistence was confirmed by National Geographic Geographer Juan Jose Valdes following a week of media speculations and Lost allusions.

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.

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