A mysterious black hole was spotted on Google Maps recently and that left many wondering if it was just a glitch. Unfortunately (or fortunately), this anomaly is actually just Vostok Island, an uninhabited 56-acre piece of land owned by the Republic of Kiribati and located approximately 400-miles northwest of Tahiti. It’s one of five atolls located in the southern Line Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Read more to see the map and for a bonus.
The dark areas you see are dense clusters of Pisonia trees, some of which can can reach nearly 100-feet tall. For those interested in a bit of history, Vostok was first sighted in 1820 by the Russian Antarctic explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and was named after his ship. It was then claimed in 1860 by the United States under the Guano Act of 1856 and then by Great Britain in 1873.
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Ok, so the real answer is the blue color around the island is a painted-in color so the oceans look uniform in the maps. Islands are added by erasing some of that blue to let the satellite image show through. Sometimes they do a sloppy job. So what you are seeing moving inward is: artificial ocean color, real ocean with waves, beach, island,” said a researcher.