Mexico has been searching hard for an island that likely never existed.
Isla Bermeja was depicted on 17th and 18th century maps as lying off the Yucatan, but extensive investigations have failed to show any sign of it.
Were the island to exist, it would extend Mexico’s rights to energy extraction further into the Gulf of Mexico, so its failure to be could be worth billions of dollars.
Mexicans have theorized that the island might have been submerged by rising sea levels, or been blown up by the CIA to extend American drilling rights in the Gulf. Neither is plausible. Mexican fantacists go as far as claiming mysterious murders of officials who opposed this island-snatching Yankee perfidy.
It is most likely that the island was one of many phantom islands that appeared on maps during the early years of oceanic cartography; some stuck around, on maps at least, for a very long time.
(Image courtesy mamamusing, Flickr)