Last updateFri, 23 Jul 2021 9am

An entire Mexican island is missing

We have lost an island. A pretty big one at 80 square kilometers.

The Mexican island of Bermeja first appeared in a Spanish compendium of all the islands of the world in 1539. It had been around for centuries but somehow vanished from the Gulf of Mexico a few years ago, flummoxing sailors, fishermen and cartographers. And don’t leave out Jalisco condo developers.

Bermeja’s loss only became apparent during negotiations between Mexico and the United States in 2009, over drilling rights to parts of the Gulf of Mexico. The island was considered crucial for Mexico. “Bermeja was a key area of the Exclusive Economic Zone in the Gulf of Mexico,” geographer and islands specialist Israel Baxin Martínez explains. The island expanded this zone for Mexico, offering vast oil potential. Official searches around the time of disappearance as well as this year did not find a single remnant of the island, only a small peninsula of plastic Coke bottles and an old Spiderman tee-shirt.

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