The Oddment Emporium

A Cornucopia of Eclectic Delights

Phantom Islands
Phantom islands are islands that were believed to exist, and appeared on maps for a period of time (sometimes centuries) during recorded history, but were later removed after they were proved to be nonexistent. Phantom islands usually stem from the reports of early sailors exploring new realms. Some arose through the mislocation of actual islands; errors in geography; navigational errors; the misidentification of icebergs, fog banks, or to optical illusions. Other ”errors” were later thought to be intentional, probably for financial gain in some way or another. [Source]
The image is of a 1623 map depicting an island called Brasil, or Hy-Brazil, just off the West coast of Ireland. Like many other phantom islands, the cartographic existence of Hy-Brasil was based on a combination of flimsy legend, faulty observations, wishful thinking, and outright mendacity. Its first recorded appearance on a map dates from around 1325. Sometimes fantasy became indistinguishable from fact: Hy-Brasil was rumoured to be continuously obscured by mist, except for one day every seven years. It must have been on one of those days in 1674 that captain John Nisbet, piercing a sea fog, anchored before the island, and sent a party of four ashore. The amazed sailors spent an entire day on Hy-Brasil, meeting an wizened old man who provided them with gold and silver. A follow-up expedition by a captain Alexander Johnson also found Hy-Brasil, and confirmed captain Nisbet’s findings. But thereafter, Hy-Brasil reverted to its elusive self. [Source]

Phantom Islands

Phantom islands are islands that were believed to exist, and appeared on maps for a period of time (sometimes centuries) during recorded history, but were later removed after they were proved to be nonexistent. Phantom islands usually stem from the reports of early sailors exploring new realms. Some arose through the mislocation of actual islands; errors in geography; navigational errors; the misidentification of icebergs, fog banks, or to optical illusions. Other ”errors” were later thought to be intentional, probably for financial gain in some way or another. [Source]

The image is of a 1623 map depicting an island called Brasil, or Hy-Brazil, just off the West coast of Ireland. Like many other phantom islands, the cartographic existence of Hy-Brasil was based on a combination of flimsy legend, faulty observations, wishful thinking, and outright mendacity. Its first recorded appearance on a map dates from around 1325. Sometimes fantasy became indistinguishable from fact: Hy-Brasil was rumoured to be continuously obscured by mist, except for one day every seven years. It must have been on one of those days in 1674 that captain John Nisbet, piercing a sea fog, anchored before the island, and sent a party of four ashore. The amazed sailors spent an entire day on Hy-Brasil, meeting an wizened old man who provided them with gold and silver. A follow-up expedition by a captain Alexander Johnson also found Hy-Brasil, and confirmed captain Nisbet’s findings. But thereafter, Hy-Brasil reverted to its elusive self. [Source]

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