Google Maps and Google Earth are controversial. Not everything that exists on our planet should be visible to everyone. Data protectionists, as well as military facilities, are sounding the alarm more often, as they do not want to be spied on from above. On the other hand, there are also places which are not normally visible at all or which have been photographed in high definition, so that even the smallest detail is recognisable. Read on, because I’ll now reveal the most secret places on Google Maps!
Discover secret locations and mystical places on Google Maps! As you might know, I love to explore the world and share with you the most beautiful places as well as unbelievable places. This time I’ll show you what you can find on Google Maps. :)
Secret locations on Google Maps
With its Maps and Earth services, Google has not only fundamentally changed the lives of travellers. In the past, you’d spend hours searching in atlases or battling fold-up maps. Whereas today, you merely enter the start and end location, and within seconds the best route is calculated for you. It also includes current traffic reports and other extras. But it’s also just fun to fly through the satellite imagery and look at dream destinations around the world from above… But only if this is possible! There are places which are so secret that they can escape the all-seeing eyes of Google.
Secret locations: Military Logistics Centre in Taipei
If you fly over the Taiwanese capital of Taipei on Google Maps, you will initially see thousands of colourful roofs. If you take a closer look, you will even see the Taipei 101, one of the tallest buildings in the world. Only a little bit further on, however, is a spot, which is different from the others, because of its aerial images quality. Here, there are very thick pixels so that what lies underneath is unrecognisable. However, rumours say that a military logistics centre is supposedly located here.
Secret locations: Estate in Noordwijk, The Netherlands
What’s going on here, then? An oversized mosaic in the middle of a residential area in the Dutch city of Noordwijk? What looks like art at first sight, is only to make the streets unrecognisable. The reason for this is that the royal family supposedly owns a house here. However, it seems slightly pointless. You can easily wander through the area with the Google Street View service and get an even more detailed view than from above. Other areas in the Netherlands are also concealed in a similar way to the estate in Noordwijk. For example, the Volkel Airbase at the NATO command centre in Brunssum, or in the town of Ede where the bases of the Ministry of Defence are located.
Secret locations: Area 51 in Nevada, USA
But, Google does make it possible to get a view of some places, which you’d never normally be able to see. A prominent example is Area 51 in the middle of the desert in Nevada. The military restricted zone at Groom Lake is the subject of many myths. Among other things, extra-terrestrial research is supposedly carried out here, and atomic bomb tests have already taken place here. Entering the area, which at first glance is inconspicuous, is strictly forbidden. It is rare than anybody enters! Google Maps, however, provides a good overview of the huge terrain, including associated buildings and the military airfield.
Secret locations: NATO Air Force Base in Geilenkirchen, Germany
In Germany, there is a secret place, which, at least on Google Maps, nobody can see. Not far from the NATO command centre in the Dutch city of Brunssum, which is pixelated on Google Maps, the airport of the organisation is also rendered partly unrecognisable. It is near the small town of Geilenkirchen in Germany.
Secret locations: CEA Marcoule in France
CEA Marcoule is a branch of the Commissariat for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energy. It is located 30 kilometres north of the French town of Avignon. But if you look at this on Google’s satellite images, you’ll see nothing except a huge area, which is completely pixelated. The censorship was allegedly allowed ‘for research purposes’…
Google Maps and Kentucky Fried Chicken
Another service provided by Google, albeit a slightly controversial one, is Street View. Here, you can browse, depending on the country, through all the streets of a city as if you were walking around there yourself. Data protectionists often sound their alarm. However, Google gets around this by censoring registration plates, as well faces. But the fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken shows where this can lead. The chain’s logo, the face of founder, Colonel Sanders, is also made unrecognisable every time. The censoring software of Google does its job almost too well and recognises the logo as a human face.
BBQ Island off Panama
Not only does Google hide sensitive areas from us, but it also gives us unique insights into many different projects. For example, an island belonging to the San Blas island group in the Caribbean is particularly detailed on Google Maps. If you zoom in on the island, which is illustriously named ‘BBQ Island’, the image becomes sharper and many details become visible. You can, in fact, see some people here and even recognise coconuts on the beach. The images for this detailed display were not recorded like they usually are with a satellite, but instead with a camera on a remote-controlled stunt kite. It is worth knowing that similar high-resolution images can be found on Google Maps. For example, the island of Petit Tabac, or the famous Stanford University in California, as well as Hawaii, all have very sharp images.
Great Barrier Reef
Google has also included something very special for the largest coral reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef. If you look at it from above, there are some points where you can dive under the water surface and experience the breath-taking variety of colourful animals and plants. You can move around here as if you were on a real dive in the underwater world – but believe me, you’ll definitely want to experience the reef up close afterwards.
A shipwreck off the Solomon Islands
The next place I want to show you is not necessarily a secret, but it is a bit creepy. It’s the satellite image of the wrecked MS World Discoverer cruise ship, which is just off the coast of the Solomon Islands. The ship, which ran into a reef in 2000 and eventually capsized, was built in 1975 in Bremerhaven, Germany. It could seat up to 135 adventurous travellers. Arctic expeditions, journeys to remote parts of the Pacific and the crossing of the Russian Artic Ocean… the MS World Discoverer survived all of these without damage, only to then be defeated by Oceania. Today, the wreck is still a popular destination for tourists. And if you don’t want to travel so far, the shipwreck can easily be viewed on Google Maps. ;-)
North Sentinel Island
The most secluded people in the world live on North Sentinel Island off the west coast of India. To this day, no one has ever succeeded in making contact with the indigenous people of the island. On the contrary, the inhabitants threaten every intruder with bow and arrow, ready to kill every stranger. Even helicopters are not safe from such attacks. The Indian government, therefore, declared North Sentinel Island a barrier zone, since no one has ever been able to approach the island. It is only possible to take a look at this unique small island on Google Maps. If you zoom in a bit, you can even find the wreck of a stranded ship here. The crew had to be rescued from the disaster by a risky manoeuvre after an encounter with the locals.
It’s quite interesting to see what Google wants to hide from us, but it does make amends with its high-resolution images of secluded locations. Are you aware of any more Google Maps secrets? If so, let me know!