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Sandy Island, the Undiscovered Country 182

Posted by timothy
from the proof-of-global-warming dept.
Big Hairy Ian writes "A South Pacific island, shown on marine charts and world maps as well as on Google Earth and Google Maps, does not exist, Australian scientists say. The supposedly sizeable strip of land, named Sandy Island on Google maps, was positioned midway between Australia and French-governed New Caledonia. But when scientists from the University of Sydney went to the area, they found only the blue ocean of the Coral Sea."
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Sandy Island, the Undiscovered Country

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  • Funny! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Shavano (2541114) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @12:12PM (#42066445)
    The funny thing is Google seems to have doctored the satellite photos to put a dark blob where this fictitious island is supposed to be.
  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @12:19PM (#42066511)

    That are normally dead-end streets in the middle of nowhere that are not likely to cause any issues other than raised eyebrows, and someone thinking "oh, a piece of road to no-where gone". Putting a complete island on a map where the sea is supposedly 1400m deep, that's a totally different thing. Such an island could be used as orientation point: a single island in the vast ocean is great for that. Not finding an island where it's expected, can give serious problems.

  • Pumice? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by slashmojo (818930) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @12:53PM (#42066753)

    Perhaps it was just a floating pumice island.. http://blogs.smh.com.au/science/archives/2006/12/post_3.html [smh.com.au]

  • Re:Funny! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22, 2012 @02:01PM (#42067199)

    My Times Atlas (big papery thing, pub. 1992) has a long thin ellipse-ish shape with a couple of small blobs on it in about the right place that might indicate something was once there.
    Called 'Sable' (French for 'sand') and just to the left of the 160 line, looks like it got washed away or fell over some time in the last 20 years.
    Assuming it existed - or is this the 'copyright check' glitch added? It is not a nautical chart, just a home atlas.

    Times atlas of the world, concise edition, 6th ed.
    ISBN: 0 7230 0493 5

  • Re:Pumice? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stavrica (701765) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @02:48PM (#42067581) Homepage Journal
    Pumice seems most plausible.

    We obtained worldwide elevation data from NOAA [noaa.gov], for our BattleCell [battlecell.com] land conquest game. (a super-evolved version of Risk) Game coordinates for Sandy Island are: -1911,15956

    Sure enough, the NOAA data shows an elevation of 1 meter, for the entire Sandy Point island.

    Possibly, the island was a dynamically generated object, based on the original NOAA elevation data. What else, besides pumice could generate such readings?
  • QUESTION! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alexmipego (903944) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @05:33PM (#42068611) Homepage

    I get that an error or bad pixel matching might have misdetected the island but... who named Sandy Island?

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