There’s only one problem with “Sandy Island” off the coast of Australia: It doesn’t exist

If you thought Apple’s Maps app might steer you wrong, just watch out if you’re navigating the South Pacific with Google Maps.  On Google Maps/ Google Earth, Sandy Island is an island that doesn’t exist. Recently, researchers went to the area to explore the island, but all that they found was ocean 4,620 feet deep. The depth would preclude the island sinking.

According to Google Earth, Sandy Island lies between Australia and New Caledonia. But reality is different.

“We wanted to check it out because the navigation charts on board the ship showed a water depth of 1,400m in that area – very deep,” Dr Seton, from the University of Sydney, told the AFP news agency after the 25-day voyage.

“It’s on Google Earth and other maps so we went to check and there was no island. We’re really puzzled. It’s quite bizarre.”

A Google spokesperson replied to this incident by saying: “We work with a wide variety of authoritative public and commercial data sources to provide our users with the richest, most up-to-date maps possible, one of the exciting things about maps and geography is that the world is a constantly changing place, and keeping on top of these changes is a never-ending endeavor.”

Sandy Island? Does it exist?

As far as I know, islands don’t come and go very often…

If Sandy Island does exist, it would make the perfect hideaway. Invisible, undetectable, it could be a Bond villain’s lair, offshore data center, or pirate’s cove. I’ll bet Google staff go there for secret parties…

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