What's this mysterious penis-shaped island in the Pacific Ocean?

According to such reputable sites as The Sun and news.com.au, a 50-year old Michigan woman named Joleen Vultaggio recently "discovered" a big ol' dick while perusing Google Maps. Vultaggio is a self-proclaimed "Google Earth Superfan" who is apparently part of a Facebook community for people who just … peruse Google Maps in hopes that they might stumble on some random phallic landmass, I guess.

With that goal in mind, however, Vultaggio is certainly a winner. Here's what she had to say about her "discovery," according to The Sun:

I shared it so people could pull up the coordinates and see it with their own eyes that it's physically there and it really does look like a penis.

The water looks blue and beautiful and I'd love the area to be closer to me. 

I'd love to go and travel there and sit on the dick.

I didn't go and measure how big it is, but considering it's in the middle of the ocean it's a pretty big penis.

Her kids, she added, think she's "nuts," though it's not clear if that pun was intentional.

The mysterious Pacific penis — which you can see for yourself at 20°37'37"S 166°18'02"E — has no official name, though some savvy users have informally dubbed it "Phally Island" and marked it as a place of worship in the Google Maps database. The 500-meter long dong is part of the Loyalty Islands province of French-occupied Pacific territory dubbed New Caledonia (which "discovery" is usually credited to the famed British explorer Captain James Cook, who was killed five years later after "discovering" Hawaii). The indigenous peoples of the island are Melanesians, which (I've now learned) are an entirely distinct from other Pacific Islanders like the Polynesians. They're most commonly referred to as the Kanak people, though as one member of the French-resistance party Front Uni de Liberation Kanak wrote in 1981:

I am a Kanak. That is what the first French colons called us: sales kanaks. It is a word like 'nigger.' But the word 'kanak' defined us. It said we were black and that we were the original native people of New Caledonia. Now we have taken the colon's curse as a badge of pride to distinguish ourselves from others who also claim the right to call themselves true New Caledonians: Tahitians, Vietnamese, Indonesians, Martiniquais, rebels deported from Vanuatu, pieds noirs from Algeria, and the French colons themselves. But we Kanaks are the true people of New Caledonia. We Kanaks alone are the original natives of these islands. We alone have the right to demand independence.

These indigenous people remain the largest ethnic group in New Caledonia, comprising 40 percent of the roughly 270,000 who live in the territory. None of them live on the Penis island though; no one does. But if you're interested in living in the Pacific Island luxury of a phallic handsome, there is another penis-shaped island near Fiji with some affordable real estate options, although that island is a bit more choad-like.

Woman discovers penis-shaped island on Google Earth [Jess Wang / News AU]

Google Earth fan stunned after discovering an obscure island in the shape of a PENIS… but where is it? [Imogen Braddick / The Sun]

'We live in misery': New Caledonia's indigenous people fight for independence from France [Kim Lévy and Prianka Srinivasan in Thio / The Guardian]

We are Kanaks [New Internationalist]