Thursday, 7 Dec 2023

Creepy ‘hollow’ island censored on Google and surrounded by killer sea beasts

A remote "hollow island" home to deadly sea creatures has caused a frenzy after people noticed it was "censored" online.

Vostok Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean has long been shrouded in mystery. Thought to be surrounded by barracudas and up to 15 sharks, the island is so remote no one has ever set foot on it.

The land mass caused a stir on social media after some users noticed it had been "blacked out" on Google Maps, reports The Sun. One wrote: "Searching interesting islands on Google map, discovered this small island Vostok, it looks dark black like burnt."

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Meanwhile another added: "Just discovered this very unusual island. I came to know this from a reddit post about a black hole on google maps."

Others reckoned the elusive island could be the site of a military base or other government secret kept under wraps. Another user wrote: "My first thought was that it’s censored. It wouldn’t make sense for a natural formation to be black like that in such a shallow, small atoll/island."

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However, one internet sleuth had a much simpler explanation for the island's bizarre appearance on Maps. Vostok has a dense population of Pisonia trees which can grow up to 30m (98f) tall and block out sunlight.

"What you see as black is actually very dark green, it’s a very dense forest made up of Pisonia trees," they wrote.

At just 1.3km in length, Vostok is shaped almost perfectly like a triangle and is said to house stunning beaches and wildlife. It was first discovered by a Russian explorer who named it after his ship, the Vostock.

Since then it has changed hands on several occasions and was even owned by the US before becoming a British Colony. In 1979 it became part of Kiribati, a newly-independent country made up of islands in the Pacific.

The island is unlikely to give up all of its secrets any time soon. Its nearest neighbouring land mass is Flint Island, another uninhabited isle some 158 kilometres (98 miles) away.

Some intrepid divers have made there way to the waters surrounding Vostok to check out the coral reef, but otherwise the island has remained untouched. It's hardly a surprise, considering how difficult it is to get there.

It's good news for the wildlife who live there. Seabirds, crabs, skunks and the Polynesian rat, found only in this part of the world, are said to roam freely on the island.

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