South Pacific island 'does not exist'

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Australian scientists say a South Pacific island, shown on marine charts and world maps as well as on Google Earth, does not in fact exist.

The supposedly sizeable strip of land, named Sandy Island on Google maps, was positioned mid-way between Australia and French-governed New Caledonia in the Coral Sea.

But when scientists travelled to the area during a geological expedition, they found no trace of the island, only blue ocean.

Chief scientist of the expedition, Maria Seton of the University of Sydney, said it must have been ''an error'' and she believed no island has ever existed there.

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