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L'origine dell'isola che non c'è 27.11.12

LifesLittleMysteries racconta come è nata l'idea che potesse esistere Sandy island, l'isola fantasma nel Mar dei Coralli tra l'Australia e la Nuova Caledonia, recentemente balzata agli onori della cronaca grazie a una spedizione di scienziati austrialiani che ne ha certificato la non esistenza - il mare è profondo oltre 1.400 metri in quelle coordinate - di fatto confermando la tesi già proposta nel 2000 dai radioamatori della DX-pedition.
Tutta colpa di un errore cartografico e di un avvertimento mai preso troppo in considerazione.

Shaun Higgins, an intrepid librarian at the Auckland Museum in New Zealand, caught wind of the story and started digging through the museum's map collection to try to find out when and where the island first entered the Western imagination, as detailed on the museum's blog.

The earliest mention of the island Higgins found was on a chart created by the Hydrographic Office of the British Admiralty in 1875 and last updated in 1908.

The chart, which can be seen on the museum's Flickr page, shows the same lens-shaped island west of New Caledonia that's depicted on Google Earth. The landmass was already called Sandy Island and was designated as the 1876 discovery of a ship named Velocity.

But R.C. Carrington, the chart's author, warned seafarers that the document might not be completely accurate. A disclaimer on the sea chart reads: "Caution is necessary while navigating among the low lying islands of the Pacific Ocean. The general details have been collated from the voyages of various navigators extending over a long series of years. The relative position of many dangers may therefore not be exactly given."