Phantom islands

What was Sannikov Land?

Sannikov Land, or Zemlya Sannikova, was the name given to a phantom island supposedly discovered in the Russian Arctic when explorer Yakov Sannikov, travelling in the seas off the coast of Siberia in 1810, claimed to have spotted a large land mass to the north. The discovery was then named after him.

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A later explorer, a Baltic German named Eduard Toll, also reported seeing the elusive island but he disappeared during an expedition in 1902 to search for it. It is now accepted that Sannikov Land does not actually exist, although it gives its name to a fantasy novel in which it is home to prehistoric animals and tribes of warring Neanderthals.

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Answered by: Nick Rennison