Google Earth: The Mystery Behind The Areas They Don't Want You To See
Without Google Maps, I would definitely be screwed. I use it to get pretty much everywhere. However, if I wanted to use it in North Korea, for example, I'd have no chance. Not allowed.
This is pretty common knowledge, but did you know that there's a whole load of different places that are deemed so secret they're blocked off the site too?
Sadly, we don't know WHY. This is the most frustrating thing. However, there are some fantastic theories. Plus, the odd conspiracy theory. Which I love.
Here's the list that News.com.au originally put together:
Pacific Northwest, USA
This particular example shows the controversial HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) site. Although the 'research facility' was shut down in 2014, conspiracy theorists still talk to this day about what actually happened there.
Officially, it was a research program funded jointly by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy among others. Apparently, its purpose was to analyze the ionosphere.
Many thought that HAARP was designed to control the weather, although some have pushed further and said it was a UFO test site.
Either way, you can't check it out because it's blacked out.
The Secret City, Russia
This is really weird, no-one knows why this area of Russia is blurred out. However, back in 1986, authorities sealed off dozens of cities and towns - many of them with populations of more than a million.
Some had mysterious numbers attached to their names including Krasnoyarsk-26, Tomsk-7 and Arzamas-16. According to News.com.au, the latter was believed to have been home to a colony of nuclear engineers who 'put an end to Americas nuclear monopoly'.
Could this be one of the secret cities?
Százhalombatta Oil Refinery, Hungary
This oil refinery asked Google to be coloured green. Why? No-one knows.
Not even blurred out, they specifically asked to be green and have all their buildings and grounds removed from the site.
This may or may not be a glitch in the system (as some people have suggested) but one of the major mountain peaks of the Himalayas in Nepal (known as either Kangtega or The Snow Saddle) is completely blacked out.
The Volkel Air Base, Netherlands
There's actually quite a convincing theory behind this one. The former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Ruud Lubbers, claimed that there are 22 US nuclear bombs at this site. They are stored in the bunkers of the air bases that feature there. This includes B61 thermonuclear bombs and a device said to be four times as powerful as the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
Mr Lubbers featured in a National Geographic documentary and said: "I would never have thought those silly things would still be there in 2013. I think they are an absolutely pointless part of a tradition in military thinking."
Keowee Dam, South Carolina
Lake Keowee provides hydroelectric power as well as being a crucial source for cooling water for Oconee Nuclear Station (ONS), a 2,538 MW nuclear power generating facility.
However, conspiracy theorists are not convinced. The Daily Mail reported that one particular theorist exclaimed: "Why would they want to hide a reservoir? Could be the fact that the dam helps run the Oconee Nuclear Station.
"Whatever the potential risk at bay, someone doesn't want us to see it; simple as that."
Valencia City, Philippines
Part of Valencia city has beenpixelated, which is quite strange as the city's population is in excess of 180,000 people. Some have said it may be an oversight on Google's part... but surely with such a large population this would have been addressed early on?
Conspiracy theorists believe that it houses the headquarters of the government's missile defence program and is pixelated for national security reasons.
What do you think?
Featured Image Credit: Google Earth