Why Did Google Blur Out These 25 Taboo Locations?
Google has offered the world countless benefits. It’s been so beneficial as to have become a part of our daily lexicon (“just Google it!”). But there are some secrets that Google doesn’t want us to know. And here is where we explore some of these more secretive things. These are 25 locations that Google doesn’t want you to know about.
1. Marcoule Nuclear Site, France
Here, we have a site that Google doesn’t think you should see. The location, known as the Marcoule Nuclear Site, is situated in the southeast region of France. When you try to find it on Google Earth, however, you will notice that the satellite view only provides blurred images.
Because the area likely maintains government data and secret technology (or at least classified information of some kind), its premises aren’t open to civilian viewership. If you’d like to see the place, you’d probably have to just drive by. And even then, all you will really see are chain-link fences and barbed wire. To get anything more, you’d likely have to schedule a meeting with the facility’s staff.
2. Hidden houses in Stockton-On-Tees, England
While many locations are blurred for clear governmental reasons, others are more suspiciously hidden. The so-called “hidden houses” in Stockton-On-Tees are one such mystery. Located in northeast England, the place has a population of around 85,000 people. And some of these people live in houses we’re not allowed to see.
For some reason, two of the houses in this small town are mysteriously blurred from digital viewing. Even when switching to Google Street View, the two houses are conspicuously censored. While you could speculate that they are home to relocated members of the witness protection program, the true answer will remain elusive.
3. Mysterious blindspot, Warsaw
When looking through the lens of Google Earth, you sometimes see blurred images in locations you wouldn’t expect. That is definitely the case here. Located in the popular city of Warsaw, Poland, we have a blurred building that seems a bit out of place. Upon further inspection, however, some brave souls have cracked the mystery.
The blurred location is actually the home of the Military Property Agency. And, as we’ve learned with some of these other blurred locations, military agencies and advanced tech facilities are often rendered off-limits to those who would like to see them. This Military Property of Warsaw is apparently no exception, blurring our attempted view from above. If you want to see it, you’ll just have to take a trip to Warsaw.
4. A Door to Hell, China
Doors don’t always appear as doors. Sometimes, they appear as portals to another dimension. And that is what we have here: a Door to Hell. This “door,” located in the mountains of China, appears on Google Satellite View and doesn’t seem to make much sense.
Certain reviewers are not that positive what the hole is. It looks like it could be an ancient mine, or perhaps a randomly developed cenote or sinkhole. Sinkholes are often caused by oversaturation of certain types of rocks. This saturation will induce the rock to crumble and sink, leaving a sinkhole in its wake. While it isn’t certain what this hole is, a sinkhole seems a plausible contender.
5. Google Mars, Mars
Google likes to have fun. Here, for instance, they show their secret base on Mars. This base is small, sure, but it’s on Mars! Okay, not really. But this little faux base does show that Google can have a good time. If you want, you can “Google Mars” the place and take a tour of the fake interior.
The inside comes complete with everything from a few signs that advertise the Martian landscape to a poster that advertises dune rover trips in the Martian climate. While it isn’t actually a place that you can visit, it might be in the future. This is probably the curiosity that Google was trying to stoke: the more we think about space, the more likely it is that we might get there.
6. Mystery in Russia, Siberia
There are certain things we know about most of these blurred locations. For many of them, it is that they hold secret government agencies or other places that house technological secrets. And because of this, they must undergo some sort of contractual agreement with Google to disallow the laymen from accessing the place’s secrets.
So what does this mysterious blur in the Siberian tundra of northern Russia hold? Well, we can only infer. Perhaps it’s a retrofitted military base or weapons depot. Whatever it is, we know that it is too important (to someone) to be shown on Google Earth. If you’d like to see the place, you’d have to book yourself a trip to the Siberian tundra. We’d like to venture that the journey isn’t worth it.
7. Michael AAF Building, Utah
Utah is one of the most gorgeous US states around. It is home to breathtaking national parks as well as many secret locations, making it one of the more geologically interesting territories. It’s also home to a vast desert. Because of this, the place is subject to many secretive projects.
Much like Area 51 and Area 52, the Michael AAF Building in Utah is the home of some secretive projects. Here, however, the projects are chemically important. In other words, the facility is a chemical weapons plant. And, as you probably expected, the aim of the facility makes its doings extremely secretive. When you try to view the place via Google Earth, then, expect to see the blur.
8. The Royal Palace, Amsterdam
Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Maintaining its status as the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is full of all sorts of curious facts. For one, it is located approximately 13 feet below sea level. This means that if global sea levels were to continue rising (which all signs indicate will be the case), it will quickly fold to the sea.
But other interesting facts surround its Royal Palace. Here, for instance, you can’t see the actual thing from Google Earth. While everything around the palatial structure is visible, everything in the center is off-limits. It’s not clear why this is, given that the place is public and can be visited by tourists and the like.
9. Tantauco National Park, Chile
National parks shouldn’t be off-limits to prospective viewers via Google Earth. You would think that since these places were literally built to preserve areas so that they could be admired and adorned, Google Maps would enable you to the view the places from above. Clearly, this isn’t the case for everything.
Tantauco National Park in Chile is different. Rather than being publicly owned by the state or federal government, it is privately owned. And because of this, Google Earth had likely never received permission to show the place in their Google Earth program. And so, if you want to see the park, you’ll just have to visit it the old-fashioned way.
10. Minami Torishima Airport, Japan
Japan has a rich history and plenty of amazing geological features to go along with it. With all this, you would expect that some of that coolness remains cryptically under wraps. And this is the case for the Minami Torishima Airport in Japan. This airport, as you might have expected, exists within a military base. And because of that, it is blurred to Google Earth.
As we’ve seen, this is the inescapable fact of most military bases. When things are used by the military, they are invariably blurred from the likes of Google Earth. If you want to view this military landing strip, then, you might have to become a Japanese citizen, join the military, then make your way on over, otherwise you’ll be left out in the blurry cold.
11. Keowee Dam, South Carolina
Sometimes the things that Google Earth blurs out don’t make sense. These places are those that you would think are open and accessible to all. Well, this appears not to be the case for the Keowee Dam in South Carolina. For whatever reason, this dam is off-limits to the prying eyes of Google Earth viewers.
Because of this lack of visibility, we could perhaps hypothesize that the place is home to chemical weapons manufacturing or nuclear technology. Okay, both of these scenarios are extraordinarily unlikely. Still, the fact that this place isn’t visible is difficult to comprehend. What’s the deal, Google?! We want to know your secrets…
12. Baker Lake, Canada
Northern Canada is home to all sorts of ancient things—some of which include people. One of these is the native tribes of the Inuit (also known as the Eskimo). These people have their own land in the Canadian cold. One of these places is called Nunavut. Amazingly, Baker Lake in Nunavut is blurred on Google Earth.
Why might this be? Is the lake holding a fortress of arms held by the Eskimo people? Unlikely. Is it a landing strip to a secret and operable military base? Also unlikely. What it most likely conceals is a lack of permission given by the Inuit people to the governments of the United States and Canada to showcase Baker Lake on Google Earth. Even our planet needs to cover up sometimes, apparently.
13. Ramstein Air Base, Germany
Germany is renowned for its lush terrain and advanced environmental designs built within it. It’s also no stranger to getting the blurred-out-location treatment courtesy of Google Earth. Here, that space is located over the US Ramstein Air Base. This air force, like other blurred-out military operations, likely holds untold secrets.
Could they be building advanced weaponry? Could they be holding nuclear technology? Well, the answers to these questions have so far gone unanswered. Without granted approval or an ability to see from above, the secrets of this German military base will remain on the hush-hush. Maybe one day we will know. But the answer will likely not come to us anytime soon.
14. North Korea
Without permission, Google Earth can’t really show you much. And that is the case here with North Korea. When you zoom in on the location, you don’t exactly get accurate images of its geography. Instead, what you get is a 2-D rendition of the 3-D climate. You won’t be graced with the same detail as you would when you look up Paris, for example.
With great power comes great responsibility, and with Google’s incredible satellite technology comes the matter of privacy. In this case, a country can exempt themselves from the watchful eyes of satellite imagery. Without permission, Google cannot render the satellite images for our viewing needs. Rather, it stays as a 2-D front for the otherwise normal (ish) towns. Maybe we’ll one day have a proper rendition. This future, however, is uncertain. Only time will tell.
15. HAARP site, Gakona, Alaska
Alaska is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It is relatively unexplored, home to many major mountains, and, last but not least, home to some hidden places. One of these places is the HAARP site in Gakona, Alaska. This site, upon receiving a close-up with Google Earth, will not prove too revealing.
There are many conspiracies that surround this HAARP site. People, for instance, suspect that it is home to weather-control technology. Needless to say, the ability to harness and control the weather is well beyond our control (otherwise we would clearly prevent things like wildfires and hurricanes!). Regardless, the nature of the place would lend it to the list of things that are better left blurred.
16. Seabrook Nuclear Power Station, New Hampshire
As with most nuclear power plants, these buildings in New Hampshire want to hide their secrets. Nuclear technology, as one might expect, is not something that you want others stealing. And because of this, the technology has remained relatively secret.
The Seabrook Nuclear Power Station, to maintain this privacy, has prevented Google Earth from showing its premises to those who would like to see them from above. If you’d like to see what’s going on here, your best bet is to get a degree in nuclear physics and get a job there. Alternatively, you could score an interview with someone who works there. Either way, Google Earth seems unlikely to help out.
17. Babylon, Iraq
Babylon is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Amazingly, its wonder cannot be seen from Google Earth. The place was under the control of Saddam Hussein for much of his rule, and underwent reconstruction all the while. But since then, we haven’t been able to glean what secrets the place holds.
When looked at from Google Maps, the place looks like a plot of endless farmland. It’s possible that within this farmland lay secrets very few of us know of. It is just another of the several we’ve already discussed. Perhaps the secrets are military, nuclear, or chemical. We just can’t really say. Maybe once Google gets the rights…
18. Szazhalombatta Oil Refinery, Hungary
Many companies try their darndest to keep their company secrets under tight wraps. Sometimes, they do this through the prevention of aerial photography. That is the case here in Hungary, where at the Szazhalombatta (gesundheit!) Oil Refinery, people are busy resurrecting carbon-rich fluids from the ground.
When people request that their info not be used on Google Maps, you can’t really make conclusions about why they made those requests. It could be because they’re hiding something, or it could be because they don’t want people spying on their employees. Ultimately, privacy is a difficult thing to come by these days, so maybe the company is just trying to preserve some of that.
19. The Seymour Avenue house
Here, we have a house that is drastically different than most others. It was used, disturbingly, as a kidnapping site. Three women were kept here as hostages for over ten years. After several years, neighbors reported warning signs about the man who owned the house.
The man was married, but reported to be violent and temperamental. His wife had left him with their three kids. While they lived at the house, the entire top floor was padlocked, as were other rooms in the house. Somehow, this had not drawn suspicion from the rest of the family members. Fortunately, the man was eventually found out and brought to justice. Still, however, Google Maps does not want you to see the house.
20. Colonel Sanders’ Face, every KFC
Google Earth and Google Maps have some restrictions. One of these restrictions is the use of people’s faces. And here is where we have an interesting conundrum: Colonel Sanders. Colonel Sanders is the face of every KFC location on Earth. And if you look at one via Google Earth, you’ll see it has a blurred figure as its mascot.
Because the Colonel Sanders logo on these signs looks roughly like a human face, the logo gets the courtesy of being blurred out by Google Earth. While this doesn’t really perturb anybody’s daily existence, it is a curious fact about the algorithms that the software implements. If you look anything more human than the Colonel, your face will likely be blurred too.
21. Severnaya Zemlya, Russia
Russia is home to all sorts of secret and hidden military bases. Some of these places are hidden mysteriously on islands. That appears to be the case on this island, Severnaya Zemlya, in the Russian Arctic. When you zoom in, you’ll realize a blur manifesting on the island’s banks.
We can presume, as we’ve seen with most other things on this list, that the blur is due to some sort of discreet military operation. And because of this, we do not get to see what is on the island. It is likely some military base with a creepy history that we would rather not think about. Either way, Google Maps has done us the favor of blurring the thing out.
22. Blurred beaches, Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago off the southern coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. The archipelago is composed of four islands: Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera. Menorca, however, has two locations that are apparently off-limits to curious onlookers. The reasons for this are difficult to ascertain.
The first of these blurred locations is the derelict and abandoned La Mola Fortress. The second blurred spot on the Balearic Islands is a little less clear. This second location appears like a white hole from above. While Google Street View does allow you to view the place from the periphery, this view offers few clues.
23. Faroe Islands, the North Atlantic Ocean
The Faroe Islands are home to some of the most beautiful beaches and landscapes known to man. These vary from cirques carved from glaciers to promontories overlooking the sea. Whatever it is, the Faroe Islands can be one of the most vivid islands to explore near to the Arctic Circle.
Oddly, these islands are also blurred out. Likely due to the controversy the islands invite with their dolphin hunting, the inhabitants are not okay with views from above. And because of this, much of the island has been blurred to prying eyes. If you’d like to scope this place out with Google Maps, then, you might want to think again. Maybe try some place in Switzerland instead.
24. Cornell University power plant, New York
New York doesn’t necessarily seem synonymous with nuclear experimentation. It does, however, have some elusive nuclear facilities. Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, for instance, is home to such a nuclear power plant. For some reason, Google Earth doesn’t allow you to see it from above.
This is likely because nuclear technology is patented, and for all practical security purposes, the schematics should remain undocumented. If you try to uncover its secret, then, you will likely be tracked down and ended. Okay, probably not. But Google Earth will take steps not to enable you to see what’s going on from above. And with this, they have so far succeeded. If you want to see this facility, you’ll just have to visit Cornell.