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Magnetum Insula or Rupes Nigra

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Island
Location type: Island
Number of texts: 2
5 stars
Made by Dromos | Reference Gerardus Mercator
Made by Dromos

The Rupes Nigra (“Black Rock”), a phantom island, was believed to be a 33-mile-wide magnetic island of black rock located at the Magnetic North Pole or at the North Pole itself. It purportedly explained why all compasses point to this location. The idea came from a lost work titled Inventio Fortunata, and the island features on maps from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, including those of Gerardus Mercator and his successors. Mercator describes the island in a 1577 letter to John Dee.

Linked characteristics: Did you know..., Peculiar
Linked themes: Geography, Geology, Science
Linked groups: Guide for mappers, Gerardus Mercator

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Made by Dromos | Reference Olaus Magnus
Made by Dromos

Insula Magnetum was already marked on a map of Olaus Magnus in 1539.

Linked groups: Guide for mappers

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