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Missing Pacific island riddle solved, 1876 whaling ship to be blamed: Researcher

Published on Dec 3, 2012 4:45 PM
 
This Nov 22, 2012, photo illustration shows a computer screen displaying a Google Maps location of Sandy Island (labelled A) with the northern tip of New Caledonia (right). A New Zealand researcher Monday claimed to have solved the riddle of the island, blaming a whaling ship from 1876. -- PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - A New Zealand researcher Monday claimed to have solved the riddle of a mystery South Pacific island shown on Google Earth and world maps which does not exist, blaming a whaling ship from 1876.

The phantom landmass in the Coral Sea is shown as Sandy Island on Google Earth and Google maps and is supposedly midway between Australia and the French-governed New Caledonia.

The Times Atlas of the World appears to identify it as Sable Island, but according to Australian scientists who went searching last month during a geological expedition it could not be found.

Intrigued, Shaun Higgins, a researcher at Auckland Museum, started investigating and claimed it never existed, with a whaling ship the source of the original error.

 
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