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25 strangest sights on Google Earth

Google Earth compiles images from various sources, from satellites in geosynchronous orbit that snap low-resolution photos from tens of thousands of miles above Earth, to satellites closer to Earth that capture higher-resolution shots, and even aerial photos taken from airplanes, kites, drones and even balloons. The imagery is available to anyone who downloads the software, and archaeologists have taken advantage of this rich resource.

From a boneyard of military planes, to a polka-dot pattern created by ants, to mysterious structures etched into the Gobi Desert and even a phantom island in the South Pacific, Google Earth brings some wacky places to light. Here’s a look at some of the strangest.

Sprawling swastika

A swastika-shaped geoglyph can be seen from above Kazakhstan. (Image credit: Image copyright DigitalGlobe, courtesy Google Earth)

Scientists discovered more than 50 geoglyphs across northern Kazakhstan in Central Asia, including this swastika-shaped design. Though the swastika symbol was created from timber, many of the geoglyphs were made of earthen mounds. The geoglyphs seem to date back 2,000 years. At the time, swastikas were not uncommon across Europe and Asia and were not of course affiliated with any political beliefs. [Read more about the swastika geoglyphs and other Kazakhstan designs]

The island in a lake, on an island, in a lake, on an island

An island-in-a-lake-on-an-island-in-a-lake-on-an-island.

This Google Earth image is an eye-full and a mouthful, as it’s an island-in-a-lake-on-an-island-in-a-lake-on-an-island. Yes, Google Earth captured this image showing a tiny island that resides inside a crater lake on an island called Volcano Island in a lake called Taal lake on the Philippine island of Luzon. For years apparently, this phenomenon was thought to be the largest of its kind spied by Google Earth. However, it turns out that accolade goes to a 4-acre spit of land in northern Canada where no human has likely stepped foot.

Weird Wheels

Wheel structures in the Azraq Oasis in Jordan, as seen in this Google Earth image. (Image credit: Image courtesy Google Earth))

Google Earth has spied some old artistry etched into the surface of the planet, including wheel-shaped structures that may date back some 8,500 years, making them older than Peru’s geoglyphs called Nazca Lines. Some of these spoked designs that dot Jordan’s Azraq Oasis seem to be positioned in a way that aligns with sunrise on the winter solstice. A team of scientists with the Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology in the Middle East (APAAME) have been investigating wheel structures (also called “works of the old men”) with satellite imagery available through Google Earth. The wheels vary in their design, with some showing spokes that radiate from the center, others with just one or two bars rather than spokes and still others not circular at all and instead shaped like squares, rectangles or triangles, the researchers have found.

25 strangest sights on Google Earth Source link 25 strangest sights on Google Earth

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