Rob Beschizza at 6:23 am Thu, Nov 22, 2012
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Sandy Island, a 20-mile strip of land in the Pacific between Australia and New Caledonia, easily found on Google Maps and many other charts, does not exist. The ocean at that point is in fact 4,620ft deep.
That's what they're saying, anyway.
⟿ Follow Rob Beschizza on Twitter.
MORE: geography • Islands
Yé-Yé Girls of '60s French Pop
Simplifiers and Optimizers, by Dilbert creator Scott Adams
Could be someone put it on the map as an error to mark their work (this is a common practice), and people copied it.
The BBC article mentions this, but apparently they don’t do that with nautical maps because it would reduce their trustworthiness.
Or so goes the official line… *narrows eyes suspiciously*
There are subtler ways to introduce deliberate errors to nautical charts that (unlike fake islands) won’t affect navigation.
Wait, so you’re saying that Garminia isn’t a real continent…?
So you’re saying it’s a watermark?
20 miles long, eh? would make the ideal lair for an evil genius.
That’s why we had it moved to an undisclosed location.
The satellite image is amazingly censored there.
I was going to say – there can be cartographic errors, say where you switch to the satellite view and find that the river actually runs over there – but, an island that’s on the map, and blacked out in the satellite view, that doesn’t look accidental.
I’d bet there’s a bunch of artists and writers building a telepathic alien squid-beast for an evil genius there.
Not censored, just no images. Same as all oceans, no company will waste money imaging nothing. Then Google wouldn’t waste time with nothing either.
No, quite clearly Google has distant satellite photos of the oceans, but this island is blacked out.
it’s some-kind of image processing error caused by crossing incorrect geo data with the images.
Google don’t censor images in this way. They use low res or limit zoom level (see any mil site), not redacting with black squares (i.e. drawing attention directly to it).
Tell that to Yahoo. http://maps.yahoo.com/#lat=-19.497664168139046&lon=161.773681640625&zoom=8&mvt=s&trf=0
Uh, Google != Yahoo. Bumblebeee… Didn’t say map-making companies, he said Google
Strange that both Google and Yahoo have obviously used different images for their maps, yet both have the ‘island’ blacked out. I really want to know what exactly is going on here.
Itsumishi – not only that, but they both have surrounding sea level data that shows a rise in sea level at that point. It seems odd that all that data was fabricated in two different maps with two different data sets.
Well jeeze, not after Jack pulled out the stone plug and reset the Island.
came here to say that :D
Mapping companies will sometimes put in a fake street so they can tell if someone else has stolen their work. Never saw a whole fake island before though. Hey, look in the close up, I see a guy running from some kind of giant white rolling ball-thing, maybe ***No Signal***
Be seeing you.
Yup, the alley behind my house has a name on some maps, I asked the city about it and they said it was fake street data from one mapping company.
Colin Yeung Alley my ass!
Same here. Akimbo Road was the name assigned to my alley. They also failed to indicate that it’s blocked to traffic in one direction.
Did you know this is actually a measure of copyright protection? Traps-Streets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trap_street
One article about it said that nautical chart producers usually don’t insert fake features, as they want their charts to be considered trustworthy and also tend to be government monopolies.
Also, there are more subtle ways to do it that are less likely to endanger navigation, like introducing deliberate errors in the final digits of extremely deep (>1000m) soundings.
Sheesh man, it’s just a regular magical shrouded island, let it go people.
Maybe it only appears when the stars are right? In which case, I imagine the researchers should be very grateful indeed it had sunk again by the time they got there….
..it smelled of rotten fish and had a strange obelisk…….
Finally something Apples new ios maps app seems to get right!
The error is repeated by Apple Maps as well.
I couldn’t find it, but I forgot to check the satellite view.
I’m not saying R’lyeh… but R’lyeh.
Only 20 miles though? Hardly seems an appropriate domicile for an elder god.
It’s really much larger, but the non-Euclidean geometry doesn’t work well with our map projections.
Except now I’m getting mental images of Lovecraft/Dr. Who crossovers.
“R’lyeh is bigger on the inside.”
you are the best internet.
BB needs an LOL button.
It’s just his pied-à-terre on Earth. Apparently the fishing is quite good out that way.
Just another victim of global warming.
Yeah, I hate it when the polar ice melts to the point of sinking an island under 4620 feet of water. You’d think that with the ocean rising that high, you’d see the effects on other landmasses, but apparently not. That’s probably something for Al Gore to investigate in An Inconvenient Truth 2: Electric Boogaloo.
Yeah!, Thanks Obama D:
On an entirely unrelated note, in “The Call of Cthulhu” Lovecraft actually placed R’lyeh in the south Pacific. So, it might actually exist, but only when the stars are right!
This is exactly what I was thinking. Maybe they last surveyed it when He was coming.
Maybe the BLOOP was really the island disappearing!!!
Has anybody counted them all? Maybe there’s a new one somewhere else.
It’d be freaky if a volcano erupts there next week…
It isn’t there. It’s a black rock. Uninhabitable. Terraforming failed, or some such…
Nothing to see here (and certainly not a badly redacted French secret island laboratory in the south pacific .) Avancer, avancer …
Kind of interesting then to me that if this thing has been on maps for a while no one yet thought to take a look at it before?
As a cartographer, this is a really easy and common mistake to make. Once something like this gets into the data, it just gets repeated, and since there is nothing there of interest, no one goes out to check. While the world is technically all mapped, there are large parts of it that are mapped at very low ‘resolution’, because no one lives there, and there are no resource extraction operations there.
Well, I just looked with Terra/Modis Rapid Response, and as of yesterday it’s not there.
Looks like yesterday was not a bad day around there. Maybe it’s time to spend my holidays searching for missing islands in the S. Pacific
Now where did I park my island …. ?
Someone tell me this isn’t where Amelia Earhart was headed.
The presence of this island would have expanded any fishing and resources claims for France. Perhaps someone was careful not to remove the error.
Which is one reason why Australia was checking on it
Sounds like the plot from a 70′s Bond movie.
Welcome to Leshp!
There is no Sandy Island. Sandy Island is named for its extensive, pristine white beaches. There are no beaches.
They may redact it from maps, but what they forgot to do so for images…
Well… I can’t tell if you’re joking or not, but there are several “sandy islands” out there. One is off the coast of South Carolina, for instance.
My home country of New Caledonia mentioned on BoingBoing?! I can now die and swim back to Rlyeh in peace.
I have always had this odd fascination with countries like yours. It’s like there are certain spots on the planet that we in the States NEVER hear anything about. I mean you are all there, part of the Earth but for most Americans you might as well be orbiting Alpha Centauri.
They really need to start a war or have an interesting disaster.
The US were very interested in us in another era, one of (surprise surprise) war; WWII that is. New Caledonia was one the largest US Navy bases then.
So yeah, a war would put us on the map.
You mean like “Canada?”
No wonder… New Caledonia is a part of France. For now at least!
The island is there. It just isn’t there right *now*.
Has Lost taught us nothing, people?
It’s where Brigadoon goes when it’s not in Scotland.
And now all 73 of the former inhabitants are looking at each other and going: “Alright, who forgot to lock up when we went on vacation?” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Island_(New_Caledonia)
All this bad PR means the value of my Sandy Island timeshare just plummeted. My loss is your gain, though. Anybody want to trade two weeks there in December, in exchange for a long weekend in Jersey City sometime in February? Sandy Island is the ideal place to get away from it all.
Is it located at 47°9′S 126°43′W , or is it at approximately 12°S 78°E ?
As we all know, the island isn’t there because Juliette detonated the hydrogen bomb, causing an alternate timeline. That, and they’re all in heaven or purgatory, or something.
Could this be the secret headquarters of International Rescue? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracy_Island
damn there goes the vacation again!
It may be Brigadoon – I’m sure it will turn up in a bit.
It’s a trap!
When Merlin awakes from the Crystal Cave located there, the mists will disappear, the land will take corporeal form, and we’ll all know it to be the Isle of Avalon.
I wrote to Google last year because on the topo view in Google Maps they had mislabeled a small river and a number of streams in my old stomping grounds. They applied the same label to several of them. i got an acknowledgment email a couple months later.
Try MapMaker next time (if available in your country, that is).
Took them a couple of hours (!WTF!?) to fix a misnomer of an island in the Indian Ocean for me. Which was also misnomed in several language versions of Wikipedia because of the interwebz recursion department of recursion.
Wonder how long it will take to correct all the wiki pages…
So that’s what the island from Lost is called. Probably teleported away.
Has anyone thought about the fact that there might have been an underground nuclear test there by the French???
I’ll just leave this here – http://arxiv.org/abs/1210.8144
Before I was nostalgic, now I’m scared… this is all starting to come together like the loose threads of IP adresses in the browser cache of our collective memory…
I’m surprised no one has brought up the theory that one of the scientists (Dr. Steven Micklethwaite) has, that the original source of their charts was a CIA map. Link with audio interview… http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/where-did-it-go-scientists-undiscover-pacific-island-20121122-29ro4.html
Nofare, If the price of Nickel is going to rise again like in 2007, you’ll be on MANY maps.
Just out of curiosity, do you have “domestic” mail service to France? One of the puzzling realizations of my early teens was when I grasped that France and Portugal really still had colonies. And that you could just travel there without any paperwork. (Except for the costs!) New Caledonia is on my list of “must see” places on this planet.
THEY are trying to hide something … like the presence of seven stranded castaways…
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