HomeTravel updatesThe ghost island that has never existed but appears on all maps

The ghost island that has never existed but appears on all maps

The ghost island that has never existed but appears on all maps

Until 2012, the key appeared on cartographic maps, world atlases and even on Google Maps.

Planet Earth is a huge place, full of diverse territories, climates, flora and fauna. Although science maintains that the human species has existed in this space for more than 200,000 yearsthere are still a significant number of species, places and natural phenomena that remain unexplored.

The ocean, for its part, covers approximately 361,000,000 km of our planetwhich represents a 71% of the earth’s surface. If we talk about its depth, the average is around 3900 metersalthough it can reach up to 11,000 meters in the Mariana Trench. The oceanographers -dedicated to the study of seas, oceans and everything related to them- have stated that less than 20% of the oceans have been mappedwhich implies that there are still large areas to discover.

The cay was believed to be located in the Pacific Ocean, between Australia and New Caledonia, just 110 km east of the Chesterfield Islands and east of the Coral Sea. For a long time It was considered part of the New Caledonia archipelago.

For a long time it was considered part of the New Caledonia archipelago.

In 1774, James Cook -English explorer and cartographer- recorded the location of “Sandy I.” between latitudes 19°-20° S and longitudes 163° 50′-164° 15′ E. This finding was documented and mapped in his book published in 1776, titled “Table of discoveries made in the South Pacific Ocean…”.

Old map showing Sandy Island

Around 1974, the topic began to make noise: Sandy Island did not appear on official maps or satellite photographs. The French agency of Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Navy -SHOM, for its acronym in English- responded to the mystery by carrying out aerial reconnaissance with a maritime patrol plane, which ended up confirming that the island did not exist. However, in 2008, SHOM reviewed the data again and found an anomaly, suggesting the possible presence of an underwater volcano at 1474 meters deep in that area.

The situation was becoming increasingly confusing. In 2012, Sandy Island continued to appear on National Geographic Society maps, the Times Atlas of the World, and Google Maps.. It was not until the end of that year when the issue gained notoriety in the media and online. At that time, a research ship with scientists from the University of Sydney studying the evolution of the Coral Seanavigated the area and determined that the key was definitely not present there.

There are various theories about this. Some suggest that the island sank, others think of a location error, and some even doubt its existence from the beginning. The only thing certain is that the ocean – vast, unexplored and mysterious – can still surprise us with geographical, biological and historical discoveries.

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Source: Viajar



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