Self-styled king lays claim to phantom Pacific island

Updated at 1:35 pm on 10 December 2012

A self-styled sovereign has laid claim to a Pacific island which scientists recently revealed does not in fact exist.

The mystery king going by the name of Marduk the First says Sandy Island is for real and he has put his name to it.

Last month scientists from the University of Sydney said they could find no trace of the island which marine charts and world maps have depicted as a sizeable piece of land between Australia and New Caledonia.

King Marduk, whose namesake is an ancient god of Babylon, says the island was pinpointed by NASA in 2000.

It is not the first time the would be king has tried to extend his kingdom.

Three years ago he tried to claim a disused anti-aircraft platform off England's east coast, sparking a fierce response from the owners who described him as an imposter.

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