We live in an age where you literally have the world in the palm of your hand. You can explore the entire planet from the comfort of your home. But there are some Google Maps secrets that were never meant to have been photographed.
Here are 12 Google Map secrets, and places that you can explore for yourself. Click the coordinates to view each location, or check out the map below.
Number one of our list might surprise you. It’s the entire country of China. Go to any place in China on Google Maps and you’ll see that none of the roads line up.
This isn’t a glitch in the matrix, but a design by the Chinese government to keep the exact location of their country obscured.
If you were in China, and had a GPS in your camera, your geo-tagging feature likely wouldn’t work. Companies like Google and Fujitsu comply with China’s requests and use an altered version of the GPS system that isn’t 100% correct.
Due to national security concerns, surveying and mapping in China is illegal and can cost you up to $75,000 in fines!
What are you in for? “Oh ya know, makin maps of China.”
But China does more than just mess up their maps a little bit, there is a method to the madness, more like an algorithm.
Before any public maps are published a secret formula is applied that offsets certain parts of the map by varying degrees. This system is called GCJ-02, or more commonly known as Mars Coordinates.
If you visit Hong Kong you’ll notice all the roads appear correct, and that’s because the country uses the true GPS coordinates.
Things get even more confusing when crossing into China from Hong Kong, roads suddenly shift when entering the country and this can leave visitors really confused.
2. Russian Hexagonal Warehouses
Deep in an unnamed forest right in the heart of Russia is a series of strange buildings that used to be obscured. On the ground you may never notice these warehouses, but from the air their spacing creates an eye catching pattern.
Who would build this far into the woods? And why would they space these buildings out so evenly? Let’s take a closer look.
This facility sits isolated down a single stretch of road that’s nearly a mile long. At the end of the road are a few buildings and what appears to be a guard shack or checkpoint. Notice the high double fencing surrounding the entire property.
Whatever this place is, they did a good job of hiding it in the woods, but not so much from above.
The carved perimeter in the trees makes this place pop out from hundreds of feet in the air. And the odd arrangement of their warehouses contrasts the forest around the property.
So what is this place?
My guess, it’s a military storage facility for something that’s highly explosive. The warehouses are likely spaced out to avoid causing a chain reaction and leveling the whole forest if something went wrong.
If I’m not on a watch list, I probably am by now.
3. The Princeport Road House
There’s an unassuming house on Princeport road in the tiny town of Teesside. But that doesn’t seem so odd. However if you go on Google Streetview and try to look at the house, Google won’t let you.
For years, this house, and only this house has been censored by Google, you just can’t look at it.
No one knows why it’s censored, not even the owner of the home who’s lived there since 2000. Was someone doing something nasty in one of the windows, or is there more to this house than we know about?
4. UFO Crashsite
You couldn’t map out the entire earth and not capture at least one UFO, right? Well, people think they’ve found the crash site of a flying saucer in the plains of South Africa.
In the middle of the field you can make out what appears to be a flying saucer angled on it’s side, as if it slid in after a crash landing. Trees appear to be growing around it now, and a well worn dirt path leads right to it.
Unlike the roof tops in the nearby villages, this does appear to be metallic, at least in the aerial shot of it.
Either way, we want to see them aliens.
5. Mysterious China Symbols
Circling back to China, there are two strange symbols etched into the mountain in the Gobi Desert. These symbols don’t appear to be in any specific language, or have any meaning behind them.
The mysterious China lines are huge, measuring in at over a mile across. Looking closer, they don’t seem to go anywhere, or lead to anything. Almost as if the lines are meant to be a kind of message.
Between the two massive symbols it’s clear there is activity present, likely military. You can find small craters from bomb testing and even dirt roads that disappear underground. So does anyone really know what these things are?
Well, scientists who’ve studied the area are pretty sure they’re calibration sites for Chinese spy satellites.
Satellites who lost their way would orient themselves towards the large mountain range, and then find and lock on to the calibration sites. Since the sites are so large, this indicated that the satellites are lower resolution.
The United States used similar markings for their CORONA spy satellites in the 1960s. In the Casa Grande mountain range are two concrete white crosses that are about 60 feet in diameter. A lot smaller and less impressive than the mile long lines in China, but still very odd to stumble across.
6. Orano La Hague
There’s a complex that’s nearly two miles long, and it’s completely pixelated out – for good reason. Orano La Hauge is a massive recycling plant. Not for beer cans and plastic bags, but for spent nuclear fuel.
As you can imagine, taking something as hazardous as nuclear waste and recycling it safely? That has to be a massive undertaking.
Keeping a two mile long campus secure is also a challenge, so it’s no wonder they don’t want people snooping at their rooftops.
7. GROM Headquarters
If you’re scrolling around eastern Warsaw in Poland, you may come across a group of buildings that look like a blurry blob compared to the city next to it.
This isn’t an accident. This is the GROM Headquarters, basically Poland’s Special Forces buildings. GROM evidentially stands for ‘thunderbolt’ in Polish, so you know these guys mean business.
But it’s not just their name. This is the same group that rescued a number of CIA agents who were trapped in operation Desert Storm back in 1991.
Whatever goes on there, they don’t want nosy people snooping around from the sky and finding out.
8. Brooklyn Blackout
Just like the Princeport house, there is another house in Brooklyn that is mysterious blacked out.
No one really knows why, and the neighbors nearby appear unaffected. Is this a random glitch that sometimes blocks houses?
Is the owner in witness protection? If you find out, be sure to let me know.
9. Courtyard Of The Orange Tree
On the coast of Spain is the town of Almeria, and in that town is a beautiful place called the Patio de los Naranjos, which means the Courtyard Of The Orange Tree.
But Google has very blatantly hidden this place from us.
Why would Google want to hide a courtyard of orange trees? Do these orange trees produce the rarest and most pure orange juice on the planet?
Or are the surrounding buildings involved in secret military activity. I personally have no idea. I wonder what happens if you try and take an orange from the tree? Probably nothing good.
10. Massive Pentagram
In the far reaches of Kazakhstan on a windswept peninsula, something evil is carved into the earth. You might not notice it on the ground, but it’s glaringly obvious from above. A massive pentagram has been etched near the cliff side.
The land itself is ancient, and holds artifacts dating back to the bronze age, but is it related?
Conspiracy theorists have tried to link this place back to Freemasons and Wiccans. Comments online vehemently state that this is a site of animal sacrifice and satanic rituals.
However local historians paint a much different picture. They say the land was supposed to be a soviet era summer camp, and was left abandoned. The summer camp construction was never completed and everything was left in a standstill as the soviet union fell.
The large pentagram is actually a soviet star, which was quite a common symbol at that time.
11. Ariel Castro’s Home
Unlike the pentagram in Kazakhstan, true evil lurked at 2207 Seymour Avenue in Cleveland Ohio. If you go to that address in Google streetview, you’ll be met with a square block obscuring the home. That might seem mysterious to some people, if you don’t know the story.
2207 Seymour Avenue is where Ariel Castro kidnapped three girls, and held them captive for over a decade. Inside he sealed off sections of the home and held the girls hostage. Doors were locked from the outside and the front door was boobytrapped with makeshift alarms to alert him of escapes.
On May 6th 2013 Amanda Berry, one of the kidnapped girls was able to break free when Castro forgot to lock one of the main doors. She ran across the street to a neighbor and was able to call the police.
Castro was sentenced to life in prison plus 1000 years. He would end up taking his own life in his cell.
Out of respect for the kidnapped girls, Google has blocked old images of the house, and rightfully so. On August 17th 2013 the house was completely demolished. An empty lot with a flower bed now takes the home’s place.
12. Christian Science Society Of Dixon
I’ll be honest with you, this is possibly one of the greatest structures on this list. I was told that at one point Google censored out this entire building, and then removed it shortly after.
I find it very hard to believe that the engineers who built this building, didn’t know what they were doing. Sure from the ground this church looks innocent enough but from above..
Do I just have the mind of a 12 year old? Or was someones Dixon in the wrong place?
Google Maps Secrets
Those were 12 of the best kept Google Maps secrets I could find. be sure to check out the Urbex Underground Ariel Oddities map below for more hidden and weird parts of our planet.
Let me know in the comments if there’s a place on the map you think deserves to be added.