Pacific Island, shown on maps, doesn't exist

Australian scientists says a Pacific island, shown on marine charts and world maps as well as on Google Earth and Google Maps, does not exist.

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.

The phantom island has featured in publications for at least a decade.

Australia's Hydrographic Service, which produces the country's nautical charts, says its appearance on some scientific maps and Google Earth could just be the result of human error, repeated down the years.

Next story in Pacific: Sport: Fiji see plenty of benefits from AFL test series