30 Must-See Strange Things Found on Google Maps
With satellites and planes photographing us from above — and with camera-equipped cars taking panoramic photos of almost every road in the world — Google seems determined to record all aspects of our lives. And then post those detailed images online. Anyone with internet access can now see some of the most mysterious objects, fascinating animals and strangest people in the world. Check out this incredible selection of unusual images captured on Google Earth, Google Maps and Google Street View.
These Divers Seem Pretty Fishy
Clearly, these snorkelers were never told that water is an integral part of the diving experience. Thanks to their photo taken by Google Maps in Bergen, Norway, these two guys have gained acclaim for sitting on the side of the road decked out in snorkeling gear.
These playful pandas aren’t at a park. These images come from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a facility designed to spark panda passion. These adorable images were captured on Google Maps when it collected shots of Sichuan, China, and they show the pandas looking happy and playful.
Not Very Neighborly
Perhaps the person who wrote "AHOLE" with an arrow had never heard of the saying "Good fences make good neighbors." The owner of this Sequim, Washington, land and their neighbors appear to have unresolved issues.
An Atomic Attraction
This giant atom might look like some kind of futuristic structure, but it’s actually the Atomium, a Brussels, Belgium, landmark built in 1958 for the Brussels World Expo to honor progress in the sciences. The atom was the symbol selected to represent scientific achievements.
Not the Nazi Navy
It looks like a building that should be in Nazi Germany, but it’s actually part of the U.S. Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, California. Known as Naval Amphibious Base Complex 320-325, the building’s original 1967 concept was very simple and did not take on a swastika shape until modifications were made to the design.
A Sealife Spectacle
In 2009, one fishy crop circle popped up in Oxfordshire, England. Someone had transformed a barley field into a 600-foot jellyfish crop circle. Crop circle expert Karen Alexander told The Telegraph it was the first jellyfish crop circle she knew of and was three times larger than traditional versions of these phenomena.
An Enigmatic Equine
Located in Oxfordshire, England, the Uffington White Horse is a mystery. The 3,000-year-old prehistoric hill figure dates back to the Bronze Age, is 374 feet long and was created from deep trenches filled with crushed white chalk. Re-filling the design with chalk, or "re-chalking," has been a local tradition for hundreds of years.
These Dolls Honor the Dead
In Shikoku, Japan, the village of Miyoshi has had a decline in population. Its remote location makes it an unappealing choice for younger people in the workforce, and the town’s residents are slowly dying off. Seeing that the area where she once lived was nearly deserted, Ayano Tsukimi decided to honor its dead.
Who’s the man wearing the horse head? Photos of someone horsing around can be seen on Google Street View — probably not just in this spot, either. This picture was snapped in the Hardgate neighborhood in Aberdeen, Scotland, where people refer to a mystery man in a sweater and dark trousers as "Horse Boy."
A Fish out of Water
The Headington Shark was commissioned in 1986 by local radio presenter Bill Heine. The 25-foot shark is made from fiberglass and took sculptor John Buckley three months to construct. The Oxford City Council criticized the sculpture, saying the planning commission hadn’t approved it.
It looks like Google Earth spotted the Primrose, a 16,000-ton freighter that ran aground near North Sentinel Island after it encountered a storm on August 2, 1981. The ship was transporting chicken feed from Bangladesh to Australia when it sank in the Bay of Bengal.
Google Street View just happened to catch images of these peculiar pigeons walking down the road. The freaky flock was actually just a group of students from nearby Musashino Art University enlisted by the Japanese blog, Daily Portal Z, to pull off a prank.
Party on, Wayne and Garth! It looks like the wacky Wayne's World duo decided to take a stroll down the street. Far from their homes in Aurora, Illinois, the two were spotted in Plymouth, England. Google Street View captured them sporting their iconic 1980s mullets and carrying drumsticks and a guitar.
A Not-So-Jolly Giant
Google Earth has caught captivating images of the Cerne Abbas Giant. Located in the village of Cerne Abbas near Dorset, England, the fearsome naked giant is 185 feet long and wields a large club. The white chalk image stands out against the surrounding lush greenery.
This Island's a Fiery Fake
Anyone who checks out images of Antarctica’s Deception Island is certain to be deceived. What appears to be an island when viewed from above on Google Earth is actually the top of an active volcano. For many years, the "island" was utilized for commercial whaling and also served as a research station.
Making a Run for It
If you happen to be reading this in prison and are contemplating an escape, don't plan your getaway when a Google Maps car is driving down the street. It seems that’s what Google’s cameras may have picked up while filming in Gauteng, South Africa.
A Bicycle Built for Two
Plenty of Google Street View fans were left scratching their heads after seeing this photo of a woman on a penny-farthing (large-wheeled bicycle) riding down the street with a penguin stuffed animal in tow. But locals from Cottesloe, Australia, were able to clear up the confusion.
This Home Seems Pretty Plane
No, this plane didn’t crash in the forest. It’s a decommissioned Boeing 727 passenger jet that’s been converted into a home. Although it’s hidden by trees on a 10-acre property, this Hillsboro, Oregon, house is one you can spot on Google Earth.
One Great Guardian
Google Earth fans find themselves amazed over the beauty of the Badlands Guardian. Located in Alberta, Canada, the image appears to be that of an indigenous woman carved in profile. But the stone figure is actually just the result of water and wind erosion. When viewed from above, the Badlands Guardian appears convex but is actually concave.
A Sweet Spot
If you like pineapple, you’ll surely enjoy the labyrinthine maze at Dole Plantation. Google Earth caught some sweet images of the pineapple plantation, which is also a popular Wahiawa, Hawaii, tourist attraction. According to Dole, the amazing maze is spread out over three acres.
A Musical Memorial
Rather than carve a traditional crop circle, farmer Pedro Ureta planted 7,000 cypress trees in memory of his wife, who died unexpectedly at the age of 25. The memorial guitar stretches over two-thirds of a mile and is created out of cypress trees and blue eucalyptus trees that highlight the guitar’s strings.
A Creepy Castle
If you find yourself near Homestead, Florida, you might want to visit the mysterious Coral Castle. Seen on Google Maps, Coral Castle is more of a fortress. The bizarre structure was built around 1920 by Latvian immigrant Ed Leedskalnin for his former fiancee. The lovestruck Leedskalnin hoped the young woman would join him in the United States. She never did.
A Scary Scarecrow Crowd
At first glance, this photo on Google Maps may look like a group of zombies walking through an open field. But they’re merely a collection of not-so-scary scarecrows that were spotted in Kainuu, Finland. The scarecrow crowd was placed in the field back in 1994 as an art installation.
Have a Heart
Google Earth fans can’t help but feel a bit romantic after spotting images of this heart-shaped pond in Columbia Station, Ohio. Nobody knows if there’s a story behind this precious pond other than that it’s man-made and located on private property with a white driveway encircling the lovely water feature.
This Film Star Is Flying High
John Travolta is a famous actor, but he’s also an avid aviation fan. Google Earth spotted two of his planes sitting outside his Florida estate near Ocala. The large property has its own private runway and taxiway, with two buildings adjacent to the house designed to cover the planes.
While this icon may resemble something from The Lion King, it was actually created in 1933 to promote the Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire. At 483 feet, it's the largest hill design in England. The symbol is so big it had to be camouflaged during World War II to prevent German pilots from using it for navigation.
An Island of Terrifying Toys
Just south of Mexico City in the channels of Xochimilco is the Island of the Dolls. The island’s owner placed the terrifying toys in various spots back in the 1950s to ward off evil spirits. More than 50 years later, cobweb-covered dolls that are worn from weather and time still hang from trees and buildings.
A High School of Horrors
This photo from Google Maps appears to show a Cambodian high school. Tuol Svay Prey was a school just outside the capital of Phnom Penh, but the building was taken over by the violent Cambodian political faction, the Khmer Rouge, and transformed into a holding facility for political prisoners.
When folks saw this pentagram on images from Google Earth, they weren’t sure what was going on in Kazakhstan. The pentagram is often associated with witchcraft and satanic worship, leading some conspiracy theorists to speculate that something nefarious was afoot.
Superhero Parking Spot
Holy perfect parking spot! This building’s roof seems like it’s been reserved especially for the Batcopter. While it appears like the perfect helipad, no one’s caught a glimpse of the Caped Crusader just yet. The famed superhero probably thinks things are pretty safe at Kadena Air Base, an American outpost in Okinawa, Japan.