26 Nov 2012

Museum tracks mystery of non-existent island

3:23 pm on 26 November 2012

An Auckland Museum librarian has offered a possible explanation about a missing island in the South Pacific.

Sandy Island, a supposedly sizeable strip of land, was positioned on Google maps midway between Australia and New Caledonia.

However, when a team from the University of Sydney went there, no island was to be seen.

Auckland Museum's pictorial librarian Shaun Higgins has consulted the museum's vast collection of old maps and found Sandy Island printed on a map from 1908.

Information on the map stated it was discovered by the ship Velocity in 1876.

Mr Higgins says the map has a disclaimer saying some information is based on multiple voyages and is not always certain.

"What I think has happened is they've simply noted down at one point in time that they've sighted something and then perhaps haven't corroborated (on) later occasions."