A Google Maps enthusiast with eagle eyes is convinced they've come across a secret military base in the middle of the Sahara desert.
Aerial images over Er Roui, Niger, near the Libyan border, show what looks like a military base - with buildings, a landing strip, vehicles, and a perimeter fence, as well as being seemingly surrounded by landmines.
According to The Daily Star, the Google Maps user shared the image to reddit and said: "Secret base! (Middle of the Sahara)."
While other Reddit users got swept up in the prospect of there being a secret, off-the-radar military base up to who knows what, we did some digging, and found that it is indeed a military base which is still very much active today.
It's known as Aerodrome Madama, and it's a French Military airfield based in the border settlement on the northeast frontier of Niger.
Built in 1931, it was previously a French colonial fort . Nowadays, it serves as little more than a border post, controlling travel between Niger and Libya.
The army of Niger has around a hundred military personnel on the site from the 24th Interarmes Battalion from Dirkou. And the Google Maps user was right about the landmines too; the entire perimeter is protected by barbed wire fencing and landmines.
Between 20th-27th December 2014, the French government announced plans to base 50 French helicopters at the Madama as part of the ongoing anti-insurgent Operation Barkhane.
The Aerodrome Madama consists of a 1,300 metre laterite track and there are plans to expand it, so the base is very much still active today.
In 2017, the A400M transport aircraft made its first operational mission to Niger after landing at Madama.
So there you have it. On this occasion, the Google Maps sighting is true - unlike those weird UFO sightings which often turn out to be a weirdly shaped hotel or a bog-standard cave.
There was also this Google Maps story which had people absolutely convinced that there were military tanks and a UFO had crashed in the desert.
But Google Maps isn't all about UFO sightings. It's also great for catching people out in hilarious and embarrassing moments - like this couple who were caught having sex on a car bonnet.
And if you've ever fancied yourself as a Google Maps driver, we've written a piece about how you can do that here.
Featured Image Credit: Google Maps
Topics: Google Earth, Google Maps