The island gained wide media and public attention in November 2012 when the R/V Southern Surveyor, an Australian research ship, passed through the area and “undiscovered” it. […]
During the voyage, they noticed a discrepancy between different maps and decided to sail to the supposed location to investigate. The crew found no island and recorded depths never less than 1,300 metres (4,300 feet) […]
However, it became apparent that a land mask was applied to these data sets during pre-processing to differentiate between land and water. Since the World Vector Shoreline Database (WVS) has become the standard global coastline data set used by the scientific community, errors that existed in WVS propagated into data sets that use a land mask. Therefore, rather than providing independent evidence for the existence of an island, the appearance of Sandy Island in bathymetry and satellite imagery data sets originated from spurious digitized geometries derived from the WVS database.