Phantom island


Phantom island
The Zeno map of 1558 showing Frisland – a phantom island in the North Atlantic

Phantom islands are islands that were believed to exist, and appeared on maps for a period of time (sometimes centuries) during recorded history, but were later removed after they were proved to be nonexistent. In contrast, lost lands are islands or continents believed by some to have existed during prehistory, often associated with ancient myths and legends; and vanishing islands are islands that are submerged during high tide.

Phantom islands usually stem from the reports of early sailors exploring new realms. Some arose through the mislocation of actual islands, or other errors in geography. For instance, Pepys Island was actually a misidentification of the Falkland Islands. The Baja California peninsula appears on some early maps as an island but was later discovered to be attached to the mainland of North America. Thule was perhaps actually discovered in the 4th century BC but was lost, and then later reidentified by ancient explorers and geographers as Shetland, Iceland, Scandinavia, or even as nonexistent.

Other phantom islands are probably due to navigational errors, the misidentification of icebergs, fog banks, or to optical illusions. New South Greenland, observed in the Weddell Sea in 1823 but never again seen, may have been the result of a superior mirage, though other explanations, including icebergs, misnavigation and even fabrication have been suggested.[1][2]

Some "errors" were later thought to be intentional. Lake Superior's Isles Phelipeaux and Pontchartrain, which appeared on explorers' maps for many years, were named for Louis Phélypeaux, marquis de La Vrilliere, comte de Pontchartrain. Phélypeaux was a government minister influential in allocating funds for additional voyages of exploration.

While many phantom islands appear never to have existed, a few (such as, perhaps, Thompson Island or Bermeja) may have been actual islands subsequently destroyed by volcanic explosions, earthquakes or submarine landslides, or low-lying lands such as sand banks that are no longer above water.

Contents

List of Phantom Islands

See also

References

  1. ^ Antarctica, p. 47, Paul Simpson-Housley, 1992
  2. ^ Exploring Polar Frontiers, p. 435, William James Mills, 2003

Bibliography

  • Stommel, Henry (1984). Lost Islands: The Story of Islands That Have Vanished from Nautical Charts. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. ISBN 0-7748-0210-3. 
  • Gaddis, Vincent. Invisible Horizons, Chilton Books. New York. 1965.
  • Clark Barnaby Firestone, The Coasts of Illusion: A Study of Travel Tales, Harper Books, 1924.
  • William Shepard Walsh, A Handy Book of Curious Information, J. B. Lippincott, 1913.
  • Ramsay, Raymond (1972). No Longer on the Map. New York: Viking Press. ISBN 0-670-51433-0. 
  • Gould, Rupert T. (1928). "The Auroras, and Other Doubtful Islands". Oddities: A Book of Unexplained Facts (Kessinger Publishing): pp. 124–163. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • St Matthew Island (phantom island) — St Matthew Island is an island once thought to lie roughly one thousand kilometers northeast of Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean. It appeared on navigational charts until as late as the early twentieth century. It was supposedly located at… …   Wikipedia

  • Phantom Brave — Éditeur Koei Développeur Nippon Ichi Software Date de sortie 2004 (Japon) février 2005 (France) Genre tactical RPG Mode de jeu Un joue …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Phantom Brave — Infobox VG title = Phantom Brave developer = Nippon Ichi Software publisher = vgrelease|JP=Nippon Ichi Software|NA=Nippon Ichi Software|EU=KOEI Ltd designer = Yoshitsuna Kobayashi engine = released = vgrelease|JP=start date|2004|01|22|NA=start… …   Wikipedia

  • Island — For other uses, see Island (disambiguation). British Isles …   Wikipedia

  • Phantom: Love never dies — (engl. Originaltitel Phantom: Love never dies) ist das Sequel zu dem 1986 uraufgeführten Musical Das Phantom der Oper von Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber und Richard Stilgoe. Die Uraufführung des neuen Musicals soll im November 2009 im Londoner Adelphi… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Phantom Manor — Autre(s) nom(s) : Haunted Mansion Localisation Parc : Disneyland (Paris) Zone : Frontierland Lieu : Marne la Vallée …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Phantom cat — (Alien Big Cat) Creature Grouping Cryptid Sub grouping Various Data Country Various Region Various …   Wikipedia

  • Island of Terror — Theatrical poster Directed by Terence Fisher Produced by …   Wikipedia

  • Phantom (comics) — Superherobox| caption=Promotional art for DC Comics The Phantom vol. 1, #1 (May 1988), by Joe Orlando and Dave Gibbons comic color=background:#c0c0c0 character name=The Phantom real name=Kit Walker publisher=King Features Syndicate, Egmont Frew… …   Wikipedia

  • Phantom Gourmet — The Phantom Gourmet is a food related television program with reviews of New England area restaurants from an anonymous critic. The show airs on WSBK TV in Boston, Massachusetts and WLWC TV in Providence, Rhode Island each Saturday and Sunday… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.