Google Maps, our digital window to the world, has witnessed its fair share of oddities – from hungover folks eagerly awaiting takeaways to mind-bending optical illusions. However, a recent discovery has left the internet in a state of bewilderment: a mysterious island, or technically an atoll, seemingly blacked out in the center, sparking wild speculations reminiscent of the TV show Lost.

The Island’s Peculiar Blackout

The exterior of this enigmatic island, as seen on Google Maps, displays the serene sea, with waves gently crashing against what appear to be inviting beaches. Yet, the heart of the island remains shrouded in darkness, a stark contrast to the surrounding light.

The mysterious blacked out island on Google Maps. Credit: Google Maps
The mysterious blacked out island on Google Maps. Credit: Google Maps

The internet, ever inquisitive, began to ponder the reason behind this peculiar blackout.

Theories Of The Blacked Out Island

Several theories emerged from the depths of online discussions. One imaginative user humorously suggested, “God dropped his guitar pick.” While entertaining, it’s safe to say this theory was swiftly debunked. Others proposed more plausible explanations, such as censorship or Google Maps intentionally concealing areas they lack access to.

Lost in Speculation

One amusing hypothesis circulated on social media: “Ladies and gentlemen, they have found the Island in Lost.” A nod to the popular TV show, this theory added a touch of excitement to the mystery. However, as with most internet speculation, the truth was bound to be more mundane than a fictional island inhabited by perplexing smoke monsters.

Fast forward to November 2023, and the mystery seemed to persist. However, a Reddit user claimed to have cracked the case, offering a less thrilling but plausible explanation.

The Painted Ocean Theory

The Redditor proposed, “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.” In essence, the island’s blackout was attributed to the mapping process, where artificial ocean color, real ocean with waves, beach, and island create the intriguing visual effect.

The Unveiling of Vostok Island

As speculation continued, a revelation emerged in November 2021: the mysterious island was identified as Vostok Island, an uninhabited piece of land belonging to the Republic of Kiribati in the Pacific Ocean. The island had been obscured on Google Maps despite its real identity being disclosed.

Journey to Vostok Island

Delving deeper into the island’s history, a YouTube video surfaced, dating back to April 2009, featuring diver Enric Sala exploring the rich coral reefs surrounding Vostok Island. Despite the island’s revelation, Google Maps persisted in keeping its center in the shadows, fueling further conspiracy theories.

In the realm of Google Maps mysteries, the ‘blacked out’ island has taken its place among the weird, quirky and unexplained. Whether a result of mapping intricacies or intentional secrecy, the island continues to captivate the internet’s imagination. So, as we navigate our virtual globe, let’s appreciate the blend of technology, speculation, and a touch of the unknown that keeps us all intrigued.