We live in a big and unique world. It’s very easy to believe that someone could live their entire life without even visiting 1% of the earth’s surface. Thankfully, Google Earth is there to fill in the gaps. Using this online service, people can virtually travel to nearly anywhere in the world with just the click of a button!
Sometimes, though, they encounter some pretty unusual things. We put together a list of the 12 most outrageous things you can find on Google Earth. They’re all pretty remarkable, but number 2 will really knock your socks off! Keep reading to find out more!
#12 The Colonel Himself
Millions of people spend time exploring the world on Google Earth each day. So, companies have begun creating giant art installations that can be seen from space. In a way, it’s like free advertising! This particular example is an ad for Kentucky Fried Chicken and can be found off Extraterrestrial Highway in Nebraska.
We get having an advertisement for a company, but what about for a person? Curious? Check out slide 7!
#11 Someone Tell Hitler?
Rural areas in Kazakhstan have long been known for their unique geoglyph patterns. That is, ancient mounds of packed earth and timber created to decorate the countryside. This glyph, however, is quite different. It resembles a swastika! Thankfully, archeologists have been able to carbon date the site back 12,000 years (long before the swastika was affiliated with the Nazi Party), making this nothing more than a strange coincidence.
Another cool find from Kazakhstan is coming up on slide 1!
#10 It’s The Circle Of Life
“It’s the ciiiiircle of life!!” Can’t you just hear the music? Most people will never have the privilege of watching a herd of wild elephants stampede across the Savannah, but Google Earth makes this possible. This scene was captured in the country of Chad. These gentle giants were definitely channeling their famous Disney kin when they posed for this shot!
#9 The Red Scare
Throughout the 1950s, the United States government created countless nuclear launch sites to protect the country from an attack by a communist country such as Russia. Though some of these sites have now been abandoned, they can still be located on Google Earth. This particular launch site is located on the side of a mountain in Oahu, Hawaii.
This is an island-in-a-lake-on-an-island-in-a-lake-on-an-island. Yep — you heard that right! Try saying that five times fast! This geographic feature can be found on the island of Luzon in the Philippines.
If you think this is an impressive water feature, wait until you see slide 4!
#7 A HUGE Ego
Hamad bin Hamdan al Nahyan, a member of the ruling family in Abu Dhabi, really has a big ego! He has his name carved into a rural area in his country so that Google Earth lurkers from around the planet could see him in all his glory. You know what they say… if you’ve got the money, flaunt it.
#6 Polka Dotty
We were itching to find out what these polka dots on the rim of the Grand Canyon were! Imagine our surprise when we found out they were nothing more than giant ant beds! The Red Harvester Ant builds hills up to forty-seven inches across. This is so large that it can easily be seen from Google Earth. Who knew that such a small animal could have such a big impact?
#5 Now You See Me, Now You Don’t
For decades, geographers have been calling this area in the South Pacific “Sandy Island.” It was originally discovered using satellite technology, and no human had attempted to reach the area until 2012. Much to the surprise of the Australian researchers who made the trip, Sandy Island is nothing more than a normal area of open ocean! Why is it showing up on satellite maps, then? Experts account this to human error and the possibility of a floating mass of pumice stone.
#4 No One Knows
Just outside Sadir City, Iraq, there is a bright red lake! No one has been able to offer any explanation of the water’s unusual color, though certain plankton infestations, an art exhibit, or a simple prank all seem like potential options. The world may never know the whole truth!
#3 Rock Me Mama Like A Wagon Wheel
These wagon wheel shaped carvings can be found in the desert of rural Jordan, far away from any kind of civilization. Archeologists who have studied the mounds believe they date back to over 8,500 years ago and likely served as a way for ancient people to keep track of the summer and winter solstice schedules.
#2 Going Clear
We don’t know for sure what this pattern near Mesa Huerfanita, New Mexico, is, but many reputable sources have claimed that it marks the location of a secret bunker for the Church of Scientology. This religion has been criticized largely by the public, but has found followers in stars such as John Travolta and Tom Cruise.
#1 The Devil Is In The Details
This distinct star shape can be found in northern Kazakhstan. Countless internet posters have claimed that it was created by a devil worshiping cult in the country, though closer investigation reveals that it is actually nothing more than the outline of a children’s park! Still, we totally understand why someone would think there was something fishy going on here!
As you can see, Google Earth holds the keys to some pretty strange and fascinating discoveries. We can’t help but wonder how many of these places would have never been found had it not been for the invention of modern technology! If anything, this list has shown us how important it is to get out in the world and explore. You never know what hidden gem may be just down the street from your house.
If you liked this article, be sure to like it, share it, add your comments, and send it to all the adventure lovers in your life!