17 Incredibly Cool and Weird Places on Google Earth

weird places on google earth

From boneyards of military aircraft to polka-dot patterns formed by ants, and other mysterious edifices imprinted into the earth, Google Earth continues to capture some wacky images in different parts of the earth. Here’s a look at the 17 incredibly cool and weird places on Google Earth.

What Is Google Earth?

Google Earth is a fairly new computer program, initially known as Keyhole EartgViewer, designed to characterize the Earth in 3D using satellite imagery.

By superimposing satellite images, GIS data, and aerial photography onto a 3D globe, Google Earth enables its users to see rare sites and landscapes on earth from different angles. You can explore the 3D globe using specific addresses and coordinates, or your computer keyboard or mouse.

Google Earth can be downloaded on smartphones and tablets. You just need to use the touchscreen or stylus to explore the 3D globe on these mobile devices. Furthermore, you can add your own data to the program using Keyhole Markup Language and upload it using several sources like forums and blogs.

Google Earth is also a Web Map Service client and can show different images overlaid on the surface of the earth. According to Google, Google Earth currently covers over 98 percent of the world with over 10 million miles of Street View imagery. Apart from navigating the earth, this program also offers several other tools, including the measure distance tool, using the desktop application.

Other 3D globes for the Moon and Mars are also available, plus a tool for viewing the night sky. It also includes a flight simulator game. The program also has features designed to help you view photos from different places uploaded to Panoramio, data offered by Wikipedia of various locations, and Street View imagery.

The web-based Google Earth features Voyager that routinely adds in-program tours that are usually presented by documentarians and researchers.

While Google Earth has been widely accepted for its ability to help people explore the earth more conclusively, it has also been criticized by some as a threat to privacy and global security. That’s why some countries have already banned it or requested that specific locations be obscured in Google’s satellite images, especially military installations.

How to Open Google Earth

Open Google Earth

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If you are using Google Earth for the first time, here is a simple guide on how to open the program. However, you need to note that these instructions only apply to you if you do not have Google Earth 6 on your computer already. If you already have it on your PC, you just need to update it to the latest version. Or you could just use the web version of Google Earth, it’s much easier.

Step One – Download Google Earth

Google Earth is freely available for download. So, you just need to go to the Google Earth download page and download it. However, there are advanced versions of Google Earth that are available for purchase. Before you start downloading the program, you need to click on the “Agree and Download” button.

The program will be automatically downloaded onto your device and your browser will show you a “Thank You” notification once the download is complete. Depending on the speed of your internet, the download should take only a few minutes.

When the download is complete, you will receive a notification telling you that the .dmg (Mac) or .exe (PC) file contains an application. You should click on the “Continue” or “Save” button to complete the process.

Step Two – Install Google Earth

If you are using Mac, the .dmg (disk image) file will automatically appear on your desktop and open. So, you just need to drag the Google Earth .app to the Applications folder on your hard drive for installation. Once it has been fully installed, you should close the Google Earth .dmg window and drag it together with the Google Earth volume to the trash bin to clear them from your desktop.

Open the applications folder and drag the Google Earth icon to the dock to create an alias (Mac). If you are using Windows, you have to open the GoogleEarthSetup.exe file and click on the “Run” button. The program will launch automatically when it’s fully installed. You can create a shortcut to the Google Earth program for easy access.

Step Three – Launch Google Earth

First of all, note that your computer must be connected to the internet to be able to open and use Google Earth. To launch the program, double-click the Google Earth icon on your computer or click the icon in your PC’s Start Menu or Mac’s Dock. This should immediately open the main Google Earth window. If you are opening the program for the first time, spend some time exploring its various features.

17 Weird Places on Google Earth

As mentioned above, Google Earth is a program designed to compile images from different sources, including satellites in geosynchronous orbit, satellites closer to the earth, and aerial photos captured from airplanes, drones, and even balloons.

This program presents these images in 3D form, allowing you to view different sites and landscapes from different angles. With this technology, you are assured of finding some strange images on Google Earth. Here are some of the weirdest places found on the program.

1. Sprawling Swastika


Image source: Pinterest

The Swastika image is among the 50 geoglyphs that were recently discovered by scientists sprawling across northern Kazakhstan in Central Asia. Although this swastika shape was created from timber, most of these geoglyphs were created from earthen mounds. They are said to be over 2,000 years old.

2. An Island in a Lake, on an Island, in a Lake, on an Island


Image source: Pinterest

This is an incredible image of an island-in-a-lake-on-an-island-in-a-lake-on-an-island. The image contains a small island inside a crater lake on an island known as the Volcano Island in Lake Taal on the Philippine island of Luzon.

Previously, this site was believed to be the largest of its kind, but it was recently discovered that there is another similar phenomenon in Northern Canada where no one has likely stepped foot.

3. Strange Wheels


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This image features wheel-shaped geometric structures that are suspected to be over 8,500 years old. They are said to be older than the geoglyphs in Peru commonly referred to as Nazca lines. These wheels have been captured by Google Earth in different parts of the earth including Azraq Oasis in Jordan. The wheels have different designs, with some featuring spokes that radiate from the middle.

4. Bull’s Eye

This image was captured by Google Earth in the Middle East. Although it’s one of the strange wheels mentioned above, it features three triangles pointing toward the eye and heaps of rocks leading from the triangles toward the bull’s eye wheel.

5. Mysterious Pyramid


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The image shows what is largely believed to be an unexcavated pyramid in Egypt. Many other anomalies in the country have been discovered using Google Earth in the last five years. Several excavation projects have been going on in Egypt to ascertain if indeed it’s an unexcavated pyramid.

6. Egyptian Pyramids


Image source: Earth.google.com

This site was captured by Google Earth in Egypt and has elicited numerous debates about what it represents, with some archaeologists claiming that it shows eroded Egyptian pyramids while others say it represents geological features.

7. Phantom Island

Phantom Island

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This island was undiscovered in 2012 by a group of Australian scientists. Initially, it was believed to be a sand island the size of Manhattan in the South Pacific, but when the researchers traveled to the site, they discovered that it was open water rather than solid ground.

8. Puzzling Pentagram


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The large pentagram, which measures approximately 1,200 feet in diameter, is located on the wind-blown grasslands of central Asia, near Kazakhstan. The pentagram, which is etched into the surface of the earth, features a five-pointed star surrounded by a circle.

9. Abandoned Launch Sites

Launch Sites

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These are the obsolete Nike missile launch sites that were scattered across the United States during the Cold War that lasted between 1954 and the 1970s. These missile launch sites were neglected after the emergence of long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles. Scientists and archaeologists in the U.S. have embarked on a mission to preserve the visual record of these missile launch sites before they vanish.

10. Desert Breath


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This image is considered a spiral portal to an alternative cosmos. Some people even consider it a message from the aliens or an antique monument to a supernatural being. However, this phenomenon is an art installation located in the desolate Egyptian desert created in March 2007 by Danae Stratou, Alexandra Stratou, and Stella Constantinides. It measures 1 million square feet.

11. Riddled with Holes


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This Google Earth image shows the extent of obliteration of the ancient Roman city of Apamea in Syria caused by the civil war. It shows how the city has been riddled with holes created by looters since the beginning of the war. Some archaeologists describe the image as the surface of the moon.

12. Lake of Blood


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This site is located outside the city of Sadr in Iraq. Nobody has given any official explanation for the red color of the strange body of water.

13. Antsy Art

This site, which features a strange polka-like pattern, is located near the cinder cone volcano dubbed Vulcan’s Throne on the north border of the Grand Canyon. The polka-like pattern is suspected to have been formed by ants, especially since the desert around the area hosts red harvester ants that are fond of creating nesting mounds.

14. Island in a Lake

Island in a Lake

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Located in Canada, this narrow, four-acre strip of land is the world’s largest island-in-a-lake-on-an-island-in-a-lake-on-an-island. It’s a nameless island that sprawls across the center of a small lake, which is encapsulated by a larger island. The island is located in one of the various long finger lakes in northern Canada.

15. The Boneyard


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This site is a 2,600-acre cemetery of steel where U.S. military planes are cast-off when they become useless. The steel cemetery is known as Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. Although the base is closed to the general population, you can get a perfect glimpse of what’s inside using Google Earth.

16. Biggest Word


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Google Earth shows the name Hamad written in humongous letters in the sand. This name belongs to a billionaire sheikh and a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family, who bought the al Futaisi Island in the Persian Gulf and had his name carved into its sandy surface. The name, which is half a mile tall and 2 miles long, is considered the biggest word in the world.

17. Gobi Desert


Image source: Pinterest

The latest Google Earth images show several mysterious structures and patterns etched into the surface of the Gobi Desert in China. Sources say the structures are a representation of a secret military base, designed to serve various purposes including testing weapons, calibrating spy satellites, testing radar instrumentation.

However, some experts have disputed claims that it’s a secret military facility, saying that it’s too close to the general population.

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