A building shaped like a swastika, the son of God’s face in a field and a very disturbing lake in Iraq… You’d think that searching on Google Maps would be a rather mundane task – but it is clearly full of surprises. These are just some of the bizarre images that have cropped up while trawling the search engine’s geo-location software. So if anyone can explain how a car was parked vertically on the side of a building in the Netherlands, please let us know.
Face of Jesus
There is no doubt in our minds that this is clearly an image of Son of God Himself, so we’ll be listing this field on ebay just as soon as we obtain the deeds. In the meantime we’ll be selling copies of this image for £1,000 each. That is, unless this isn’t Jesus?
Iraq’s Bloody Lake
This blood-red lake outside Iraq’s Sadr City garnered a fair share of macabre speculation when it was noticed in 2007. One tipster told the tech blog Boing Boing that he was “told by a friend” that slaughterhouses in Iraq sometimes dump blood into canals. No one has offered an official explanation, but it’s more likely that the color comes from sewage, pollution or a water-treatment process.
Clouded judgement: A strange formation appears in the sky over a town in Italy.
In plane sight
Funny bunny: Just a regular field in Piedmont, Italy… that just happens to contain a 200ft-long pink knitted rabbit.
Tell it to the marines: This swastika-shaped building in California is actually a US navy base. When builders of the Coronado Naval Amphibious Base in San Diego planned this complex in 1967, satellite imagery was probably the furthest thing from their minds. But in 2007, Google Earth sleuths found that four unconnected buildings on the base formed an unfortunate shape when viewed from above: a swastika. The Navy says it’s spending more than $600,000 to mask the shape. “We don’t want to be associated with something as symbolic and hateful as a swastika,” a spokesman said.
They probably failed their driving test: Odd car parking in Westenbergstraat, Netherlands.
A Face in the Clay
Face the facts: This mountainous terrain in Alberta, Canada looks suspiciously like a Native American Indian… listening to an iPod. Dubbed the Badlands Guardian, the “face” is actually a valley eroded into the clay. Some say the person appears to be wearing earphones; that’s merely a road and an oil well. Even the Badlands Guardian, it seems, isn’t immune to exploratory drilling.
Related: We Will Live on the Moon in 50 Years, Says Stephen Hawking
The Naked Man
This baffling snap shows an apparently naked man climbing into the boot of a Mercedes in Mannheim, south-west Germany, while a dog sprawls on the driveway.
A man with a horse head was caught by a Google Streetview car in Aberdeen. Horseboy, as he is now known, became an internet sensation after he was spotted by someone searching for an optician.
Sea monster? This image which can be seen by entering coordinates Latitude 57°12’52.13″N, Longitude 4°34’14.16″W in Google Earth depicts a large object resembling a sea creature.
The Robed Figures
Who are these robed figures hovering above a lake in Quarten, Switzerland?
Cruise missile or jet? This Google Earth image taken over Utah has been the discussion of much debate. Some say it’s a missile, others say it’s a jet with black wings. Google Earth has plenty of examples of planes, helicopters — even hot air balloons — caught in flight, but this cruise missile, thought to have been fired during military training exercises in the Utah mountains, might be the most unlikely capture yet. If it is, in fact, a cruise missile. Many dispute the image and say it’s merely an airplane. You be the judge, but if you look closely, the “missile” appears to have wings.
UFO or Lens Flare?
Could this be a crop circle in the Nevada desert?
These rectangles, up to a mile long, can be seen from space near the Gansu province and Xinjiang, some less than 100 miles from Jiuquan, the headquarters of China’s space programme.
A dead body in Middle Road, Worcester? No, just a little girl, Azura Beebeejaun, playing dead to trick her friends after she fell over. She later said she was ‘quite chuffed’ about being in the internet.
The Blue Tree
A blue tree is spotted on Mount Annan in New South Wales, Australia.
Is this the lost continent of Atlantis off the coast of Africa? Eager explorers certainly thought so, trumpeting this grid off the coast of Africa as streets in the mythical sunken city. Observers noted the area appeared to be the size of Wales, making such a large grid an impressive feat of ancient urban planning. The real explanation is far less fun: Google Earth engineers soon announced that the grid pattern was merely a digital artifact created by the sonar boats collecting mapping data. Whispers still linger, but it doesn’t look like anyone will be dredging up a forgotten civilization anytime soon.
In Plane Sight
This appears to be a real aeroplane hidden in someone’s garden in Paraguay, South America
The Giant Pliers
Losing a grip on reality? These giant pliers seemed to have a hold on this house in the West Midlands.