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Scientists fail to find South Pacific Island

Nov 27, 2012
Sandy Island showing on a map of the Coral Sea.

Sandy Island showing on a map of the Coral Sea.

courtesy Brisbane Times

The Brisbane Times website recently reported the story of an island, called Sandy Island, that showed on Google maps of the South Pacific, but could not be seen on electronic charts, or, more important, in the ocean itself. Scientists from the University of Sydney were aboard RV Southern Surveyor and were conducting research on plate tectonics when they noted Sandy Island, which was supposedly 60 miles in area approximately halfway between New Caledonia and Australia, showed up on their scientific and weather maps and on Google maps, but was nowhere to be found on their navigational chart.

In the interests of science, Southern Surveyor steamed to the spot and found... deep water. There was no island in sight. Yet another example of why voyagers need to exercise care and never put all their faith a single source of navigtional information.  

Go to the Brisbane Times website for a video that includes an interview with one of the scientists. 

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Nov 29, 2012 12:38 pm
 Posted by  Peio

No 'Sandy island' in the 'Google Maps for the seafarer' (Marine GeoGarage screenshot)

see blog :

Dec 4, 2012 10:40 am
 Posted by  Ocean Navigator

Thanks for the excellent links, Peio. Intriguing how Sandy Island appears and disappears from charts down through the years!

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