Riddle of 'mystery' South Pacific island 'that never was' finally solved!
A researcher in New Zealand has said that he has solved the riddle of a mystery South Pacific island shown on Google Earth and world maps which does not exist.
The phantom land mass in the Coral Sea is shown as Sandy Island on Google Earth and Google maps and is supposedly midway between Australia and the French-governed New Caledonia.
The Times Atlas of the World appears to identify it as Sable Island, but according to Australian scientists who went searching last month during a geological expedition it could not be found.
According to the Telegraph, Shaun Higgins, a researcher at Auckland Museum, started investigating and claimed it never existed, with a whaling ship the source of the original error.
"As far as I can tell, the island was recorded by the whaling ship the Velocity," Higgins told ABC radio.
According to the paper, Higgins said that the ship's master reported a series of "heavy breakers" and some "sandy islets".
"My supposition is that they simply recorded a hazard at the time. They might have recorded a low-lying reef or thought they saw a reef. They could have been in the wrong place. There is all number of possibilities," he said.
"But what we do have is a dotted shape on the map that's been recorded at that time and it appears it's simply been copied over time," he added.