Null Island

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Null Island
The weather buoy moored at the coordinates of Null Island
Null Island is located in Africa
Null Island
Null Island
Coordinates 0°N 0°E / 0°N 0°E / 0; 0Coordinates: 0°N 0°E / 0°N 0°E / 0; 0
Additional information
This fictional island is a cartographical convenience only

Null Island is a fictional island in the Gulf of Guinea added to the Natural Earth public domain map dataset,[1] located where the equator crosses the prime meridian, at coordinates 0°N 0°E / 0°N 0°E / 0; 0.[2][3][4] Natural Earth describes the entity as a "1 meter square island" with "scale rank 100, indicating it should never be shown in mapping."[1] Although intended humorously, the fiction has a serious purpose and is used by mapping systems to trap errors.[3] Such errors arise, for example, where an image artifact is erroneously associated to the location by software which cannot attribute a geo-position, and instead associates a latitude and longitude of "Null,Null" or "0,0".[citation needed] Null Island was developed as an idea in 2011 or slightly earlier. Since then, numerous web pages have documented this fictional landmass's flag, geography, and history.[5]

In reality, a weather observation buoy, part of the PIRATA system, is moored at the supposed location of the island.[6]

Weather buoy moored close to 0°N 0°E

See also[edit]

  • Colonel Bleep, a 1957 cartoon that took place on the fictitious Zero Zero Island, at the same location as Null Island, where earth's equator meets the Greenwich Meridian.


  1. ^ a b Kurgan, Laura (2013). Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology and Politics. New York: Zone Books. p. 157. ISBN 9781935408284. 
  2. ^ "Null Island". Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Natural Earth version 1.3 release notes". 2011-01-31. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Hotz, Robert Lee (14 July 2016). "If You Can't Follow Directions, You'll End Up on Null Island". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  5. ^ St. Onge, Tim. "The Geographical Oddity of Null Island". Library of Congress. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  6. ^ "Station 13010 - Soul". National Data Buoy Center. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 

External links[edit]