21 December 2012

How the undiscovered Sandy Island was "discovered"

The 1908 map showing Sandy Island, circled (map from the Auckland Museum blog).  
The saga of the phantom island named Sandy Island between New Caledonia and Australia, which showed up on many charts and Google Maps may have been solved by a Shaun Higgins, a librarian at Auckland Museum, New Zealand.  In November 2012, Australian scientists on the RV Southern Surveyor found that the island did not exist.  Higgins, based on a 1908 British admiralty chart, traced the "Sandy Island" to a false sighting of land by the crew of the whaling ship from Velocity in 1876.

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