Phantom Islands

Gather around, my dearies, for tales of phantom islands and shivers of delight. Phantom islands are islands that were drawn on maps long ago, but seem to have gone missing.


The Lost Phantom Island of Ireland is one such island. For ages, Ireland referred to an island by the name of "Hy-Brasil" (and other spellings). It was documented first in 1325 when it appeared on maps. It was described as perfectly round with a channel river running down the center. The people had known of the island and spoke of it, so it being shown on a map was an obvious consequence of documenting the shores of Ireland. It had earned a reputation for being laced in fog most of the time and possibly holding gold or the answer to immortality. 

In the 1480s and explorer went out, determined to find it, but could not. Interestingly, one explorer kept pushing further and further and eventually ran into Newfoundland. 

A few in the 1600s claimed they had managed to stumble upon it. One said that they fell into a fog and then found themselves at the shore. They reported giant black rabbits and a wizard living alone in a stone castle who gave them silver and gold. Another said that he was approached by an old man who gave him a book and told him not to open it for seven years. When seven years went by, he supposedly found it to be filled with info including medicinals. When I read that, I thought immediately of the unusual book called Voynich manuscript which has botanicals and unknown language that has been unsolved. 

Island of Demons

The Isle of Demons was said to be off Newfoundland. The first time it showed up was on maps in the 16th Century. The story has a deliciously dark history. A woman in 1542 was traveling by ship to French Canada. She supposedly got pregnant by one of the sailors and so her and her lady-in-waiting were dumped off on the Isle of Demons. Supposedly her lover and lady-in-waiting, as well as her baby, died on the island, leaving her to wander around for two years and fought off the devils who inhabited the island. A fisherman found her and took her home to France where her story was put into a romantic novel. Later, it was believed that she had met up with Native American people in the New World and they were the "demons" she fought off.
Sandy Island

Sandy Island in the Coral Sea in the South Pacific near Australia is another phantom island. It shows up on Google Earth (above). It was first listed in 1875 and then up until 1908, and then not again. It had been mentioned as a low-lying island to beware of. 

The island was reportedly the size of Manhattan and a research ship went in search of it. When they reached the spot, not only was no island there, but it was 1000 feet deep. It was decided to be a combination of old charts being passed on without question and digitalized issues. Another phantom island was removed from the charts forever.

There have been many infamous supposed islands of the past from the continent of Mu to the continent of Atlantis and even the supposed entry to Hollow Earth said to be at the North Pole region. 

- Movies to get you in the uncharted island mood - 

Robinson Crusoe
Six Days, Seven Nights
The Beach
Lord of the Flies
Blue Lagoon
The Savage is Loose
Land of the Lost
Swiss Family Robinson
Island at the Top of the World

More info:
List of 10 phantom islands
Sandy Island