Top 10 Places GOOGLE EARTH Is HIDING FROM YOU
With Google Earth, we were given the ability to see parts of the world we would never get to experience; but there still stood areas and locales that were not for the public’s eyes. To keep these secrets, as they were prior to the days of the internet, Google implemented a keen strategy of censorship. The following ten locations are great examples of said censorship, some of them leading us to question: “Why?”
NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen
Google Earth, you sly puppy. Your camouflaged imagery hiding whatever lies at 50°57′17″N 6°3′33″E, just southeast of the NATO Air Base in Geilekirchen is clever, but not clever enough. You may be trying to keep a secret, but there’s another force working against you - Bing! It’s a bit odd that Google Earth would insist on covering this bit of area while Bing shows it off with no questions asked, especially considering the camouflaged area doesn’t seem to be covering anything of importance. On the Bing map, it looks like a residential area, possibly military housing, but nothing that would indicate a need for censoring. That is, of course, unless there’s something we aren’t seeing.
U.S. / Mexico Border
Considering the growing number of illegal immigrants found in the United States, the blurring of the United States / Mexico Border may not actually be serving any purpose. Regardless, if you punch in 31°7’50.3” N, 105°41’33.7” W, you’ll find that the line in Hudspeth County, Texas, bordering the Mexican border is completely garbled. The federally regulated area is under constant scrutiny from the people of the United States, so it’s a wonder if the blurred area hides weak spots or secrets that are better left publicly unknown. Whatever the reason, the entirety of the Rio Bravo, save for the area around Fort Hancock and United States Customs, is a weird, distorted mess.
Gabcikovo Power Station Switchyard
When you take a gander at 47°53’03”N, 17°32’30”E, you’ll see what looks like a normal image. Look closer, though, and you’ll notice irregularities, such as power lines that seem to end at no station and a road that leads to nowhere. That’s because not all is what it seems at the Gabcikovo Power Station switchyard. This hidden sliver of land just off the Danube river is a hub for the important, electricity producing Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Dams. Considering the station proceeds 2600 GWh of electricity on an annual basis, it could be quite bad should anything happen to the switchyard, making it feasible for the finer details to be hidden.
Though there isn’t much to the Moruroa atoll of the Tuamoto Archipelago in French Polynesia, what there is of it is mostly hidden on Google Earth. The thin stretch of land, 6.8 miles or 10.9 kilometers at its widest, was the site of approximately 180 nuclear weapon tests by the French between 1966 and 1996. Following France’s last nuclear test on January 27th, 1996, the test site was dismantled, but French forces still occupy it. On Google Earth, typing in 21°50’00”S, 138°50’00”W will set the marker just east of where the atoll starts to get blurred and indistinguishable.There is even a dark, blurry ring that surrounds the entirety of Moruroa, giving it an ominous look in the Pacific Ocean.
HWU Transmitter, France
Don’t you worry, your eyes haven’t gone completely wonky on you. It’s just that the area at 46°42’47”N, 1°14’39”E is a completely blurred selection of Google Earth’s mapping. What is hidden behind the blurred imaging is actually a French facility that handles transmitting orders to submerged submarines of the French Navy. The HWU transmitter at this site is one of France’s largest transmitters, and though its general shape is distinguishable, all finer details of the structure have been completely washed out. The blurred area expands some 4,000 feet or 1,200 meters until the image becomes completely clear again.
Volkel Air Base, Netherlands
This completely active Netherlands Air Force base can be found at 51°39’26”N and 005°41’27”E, but put those coordinates into Google Earth and you aren’t going to get a clear view of the military base. Instead, it’s going to look like the entire base found a way to cover itself in a giant clothe of fatigues. It’s an obvious distortion that stretches from Zeelandsedijk to a bit west of Peelweg, two roads that flank the base. One reason for the blurring is the storage of 22 United States Air Force nuclear warheads, which were confirmed in June of 2013 by then Prime Minister, Ruud Lubbers.
This one is quite interesting, considering the black mass at 27°47′45″N, 86°48′50″E is the peak of Kangtega in the Himalayas. While it could be a weird glitch with the satellite, we’re going to run with an idea - a secret society of Yeti people, created and under the control of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. The black mass is hiding their handmade dwellings and the nearby research facility to keep them out of the public’s eye until needed in war. Yeah, we’re going to stick with that theory, because we really have no other explanation for the perplexing black blob and distortion covering Kangtega.
Severnaya Zemlya, Russia
Something is a miss on this Russian archipelago, located at 79°19′22.8″N, 95°19′42.13″E. What initially looks like a white-washed snowy land takes on an odd form as you zoom out and take notice of the strange glitch in the northwest. Black and white lines and what looks like a MS Paint overlay break up the natural look of Severnaya Zemlya. The peculiar mishap happens to be in an area where there is no known secret history or undisclosed military installation, though it may be hiding the sparsely populated arctic base. What sinister secrets are you hiding from us, Google Earth? We’re onto you.
It’s not uncommon for a spot on Google Earth to be blurred or distorted, but somebody went to great lengths to ensure that a large area northeast of the municipality of Roses, Girona would be completely blurred on Google Earth. A search of 42°16’45”N, 3°14’17”E will pit you face to face with a giant mass of black. The only indication of life behind the black is the snaking road that cuts clear through it and the Hotel Roses found on the southwestern skirt. Though the site of many wars through it’s early history, Roses has no known connection to anything that would require such secrecy… or does it?
Looking at 62°6’46”N, 7°5’33”W, you may think you’ve stumbled across a rather grotesque part of the world, with a large area surrounding this point coated in a green smog. What you’re seeing isn’t some over polluted island northwest of the North Sea, though; it is Vagar, one of 18 archipelago of the Faroe Islands. Vagar was the site of a British World War II airfield and for 20 years after the war, the airfield was unused. Today, it is once again operational, but that still begs the question of why such a large area like Vagar, which is still a tourist destination and houses villages like Miovagur, Sorvagur, and Sandavagur, needed to be blurred.