Don’t try to map Sable Island if you want to create a guide with any kind of permanence. This shape-shifting, sandy island has confounded and trapped sailors for hundreds of years. And now, researchers have found yet another deadly secret that lurks on this tiny landmass just off the coast of Canada.
Nearly 110 miles off of Nova Scotia, a sliver of sand juts out of the Atlantic Ocean and out to the surface. This is the 28-mile-long Sable Island, which gets its name from the very material which forms its wispy, half-moon shape. And in spite of its small size, it has a long history of treachery.
A landmass made of sand can easily change its shape. And so when experts take on the task of mapping Sable Island, they can see how much it’s capable of morphing. According to CBC in 2014, for instance, the sand had started disappearing from the island’s west end and accumulating at its eastern side.