Google Maps: Some mysteries explained

Google Street View appeared to catch an axe-murder in progress. Police investigated. Image / Google
Google Street View appeared to catch an axe-murder in progress. Police investigated. Image / Google

They are the Google Maps mysteries that sent the internet into a spin.

From possible murders caught on camera to planes found in strange places, these are the images we certainly don't expect to see on our maps or Google Street View.

And while they may seem strange at first, and in some cases sinister, it seems most have a plausible explanation behind them.

Whether they are accidental discoveries, or internet conspiracy theories, here are just a few explanations behind the strangest mysteries involving Google Maps.

The car belonging to David Niles can be seen in the top right hand corner of the lake. Picture / Google Maps
The car belonging to David Niles can be seen in the top right hand corner of the lake. Picture / Google Maps

BENEATH THE WATER

When Michigan man David Lee Niles went missing in 2006, his family had no clue where he disappeared to.

Years later an image of a car beneath the water appeared on Google Maps.

But it wasn't until Brian Houseman physically looked at the water from above that Mr Niles' car was actually found.

The American was on a lift outside a funeral home decorating a Christmas tree last year, when he noticed something murky in the water across the road.

Positioned high, he noticed what appeared to be a car in the bottom of the water at Byron Centre, Michigan.

The car, which appears in Google Maps satellite images, had gone unnoticed for months.

"All of a sudden, it's like, 'Whoa, there's a car out there,'" Mr Houseman told 24 Hour News 8 last November.

"No one could ever see it. It was murky and things moved around."

Mr Houseman called the Kent County Sheriff's Department who confirmed the car was there.

Police later pulled it out of the water with human remains inside along with Mr Nile's wallet and keys.

Mr Niles, who had suffered cancer and depression and his family said at the time the discovery of the car helped give them closure.

The discovery of what appeared to be a plane at the bottom of Lake Harriet in Minneapolis sent the internet into a spin. Image / Google
The discovery of what appeared to be a plane at the bottom of Lake Harriet in Minneapolis sent the internet into a spin. Image / Google

PLANE IN THE LAKE

In February this year the Google Earth mystery of a plane supposedly in the bottom of a lake was finally solved.

Pictures of the plane in the bottom of Lake Harriet in Minneapolis sent the internet into a spin with many speculating how it got there.

The aircraft appeared as though it had sunk and with no loss of planes reported many were left scratching their heads as to how it got there.

It turns out the picture was taken at the same time a plane flew over the lake, making it appear if it was in the water.

Google spokeswoman Susan Cadrecha told The Minneapolis Star-Tribune the satellite images we see on the map are actually a compilation of several images.

"Fast-moving objects like planes often show up in only one of the many images we use for a given area," she said.

Lake Harriet is also under the flight path of Minneapolis-St Paul Airport.

This image sent the internet into a spin when it appeared a murder had taken place. Image / Google
This image sent the internet into a spin when it appeared a murder had taken place. Image / Google

NOT MURDER MYSTERY

In 2013, an image posted on Reddit led to a murder probe after people assumed someone had been killed.

Internet users noticed what they thought was a trail of blood in an aerial photo in a park in the city of Almere, Netherlands.

For days people assumed someone had been killed with a dark trail left on the jetty and at least one person standing over an object which is on a jetty jutting into a lake in Beatrixpark.

However the explanation was far less sinister.

By zooming in on the picture, internet users found the object was in fact a dog.

The pet's owner Jacquelina later told The Sun she and a friend had been out swimming and the trail was left after the water-loving dog jumped off the end of the jetty, swam back to shore and ran down the jetty.

AXE MURDER SOLVED

In some cases, people have actually taken the opportunity to be part of Google Maps history by putting themselves in the picture.

In 2014 a couple of Scottish mechanics played a prank by pretending to take part in an axe murder while the Google Street view team were around.

The camera car filmed the scene from different angles as it travelled down Giles Street in Leith, which appeared to show a man being attacked.

A member of the public later noticed the image on Google Street View and alerted police in Edinburgh who traced the so-called killer to a mechanics' car repair shop in the same street.

The shop's owner Dan Thompson and his "victim" mechanic Gary Kerr said they decided to create the scene when they saw the camera car approaching.

Fortunately for them the police saw the funny side of things.

This blood-red lake outside Sadr City left many speculating what it could be from. Image / Google
This blood-red lake outside Sadr City left many speculating what it could be from. Image / Google

LAKE OF BLOOD

But there are some things that still remain somewhat of a mystery that even Google Maps can't fully explain.

This blood-red lake outside Iraq's Sadr City got the internet excited when it was found back in 2007.

As yet the exact explanation of the colour remains a mystery, Live Science reports with some speculating it could be caused by the blood running from a slaughterhouse.

Others suggest it could be down to pollution or sewerage.

- news.com.au

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