If you browse Google Maps in your spare time, you might’ve stumbled across a mysterious island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
The tiny island stands out like a sore thumb, as it appears to be completely hollow.
The outside of the island shows lighter sea, and even some waves crashing against its beaches, but the center of the island looks like it’s been manually blacked out.
From time to time, Google Maps blacks out places they don’t have access to, or when people don’t want them to know what’s going on there.
But while users who discovered the eerie island were initially unaware of its location, it’s now been revealed – and someone’s actually been there.
The mystery hot spot is actually an uninhabited island called Vostok Island, which belongs to the Republic of Kiribati.
A YouTube video, posted by National Geographic’s nature journalists over 14 years ago, unearths more about the mysterious island.
In the video, diver Enric Sala claims he just enjoyed one of the best dives of his life, exploring the wildlife of Vostok’s rich coral reefs.
“Well, we just came back from a dive on Vostok Island,” Sala said in the video. “I just did the very best dive of my life.”
“There were [indistinct] sharks around us, schools of jags, barracuda and surgeon fish, everything!” Sala added.
“Incredible! Really unbelievable. This is the most pristine place we have dived so far. We have found it, this is it. Vostok Island.
“I cannot wait for tomorrow to get back in the water.”
At least Sala got to visit the island, unlike the abandoned island connected to New York City by tunnels that no one is allowed to visit.
Despite its identity being confirmed, the island remains blacked out on Google Maps.
And, in typical fashion, this has led to several conspiracy theories, including that it’s a ‘censored’ destination.
“My first thought was that it’s censored,” one Reddit user said. “It wouldn’t make sense for a natural formation to be black like that in such a shallow, small atoll/island.”
“What you see as black is actually very dark green, it’s a very dense forest made up of Pisonia trees,” another social media user suggested.
“Ladies and gentlemen, they have found the Island in Lost,” a third quipped.
All in all, Vostok Island sounds like a pretty cool place to visit, much like Japan’s ancient underwater ‘pyramid’.