One user of Google Maps made a shocking discovery in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In October, Reddit went crazy with conspiracy theories when user Kokoblocks shared an image of a dark blob in the ocean. People speculated that it was a mysterious black hole or something from the popular show “Lost.” But the truth is, it’s actually an island called Vostok Island, owned by the Republic of Kiribati.
The image of the black island sparked a lot of debate on Reddit. People wondered what this black hole in the ocean really was. Some feared it was the mythical Bermuda Triangle moving from the Atlantic to the Pacific. But in reality, it was just the island of Vostok, located hundreds of miles away from Tahiti.
The dark color of the island is due to the dense forest of Pisonia trees covering it. These trees can grow up to one hundred feet tall and are so close together that they create a single layer of dark green when seen from above.
Some Reddit users even thought the image had been censored. Although Google Maps does blur out military bases and classified locations, this island was not one of them. Instead, the black spot was caused by the dense vegetation on the remote Pacific island.
Vostok Island is part of the southern Line Islands, along with Malden, Starbuck, Flint, and Caroline. It is about 4,000 miles east of Australia and 1,500 miles west of Hawaii. The island was first discovered by Russian explorers in 1820 and was named after their ship. It was later claimed by the United States in 1856 because of its guano deposits, which were valuable fertilizers at the time. However, the island was eventually given to the British and later became associated with Kiribati in 1979, when it gained independence. Vostok has been declared a wildlife sanctuary and has been protected ever since.
In 2009, marine conservationist Enric Sala led an expedition to Vostok to study its fish populations and document its natural resources.
So, what seemed like a mysterious black hole in the ocean turned out to be a beautiful island covered in a dense forest. It’s just another wonder of nature waiting to be discovered by adventurous explorers.