There is a number of top secret locations Google Maps tries hard for you not to see. Areas blurred out to protect residents’ privacy, or to preserve state secrets, including airports and industrial facilities, royal residences and universities. Buildings blocked from view include the Michael Aaf Building, Utah,The Royal Residence, The Netherlands, nuclear sites and even all of North Korea.
An entire city has been hidden from view too. The city of Babylon, Iraq, is just a blur on Google Maps, and it’s name is nowhere to be seen. Check out these 15 locations Google is trying to hide from view.
15| Szazhalombatta Oil Refinery, Hungary
One of the strangest acts of alleged “censorship” is this Hungarian oil facility, which is simply rendered green. That’s right — the grounds are deleted, the buildings are missing, and what’s left is flat grass.
14| Baker Lake, NU, the Inuit nation in northern Canada
A man indentified as “Dr. Boylan” believes that the blacked out area seen above and those found in several other locations are blocking the locations of extraterrestrial beacons.
13| Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany
This Nato air force hub is a retreat for the Operation Iraqi Freedom forces, and as such could definitely be considered a terrorist target. That could explain why the facility is partially blanked out on Google Maps.
12| Missile Silo, Spain
According to a researcher with WikiMedia, “On this lot there is a small building with something almost like a silo in the middle. This location is not blocked in Yahoo! Maps. There is no image for this location in Virtual Earth yet.”
11| Marcoule Nuclear Power Plant, France
The Marcoule Nuclear site is a nuclear plant in the Gard department of France, which is in the touristic, wine and agricultural Côtes-du-Rhône region. The plant is around 25 km north west of Avignon, on the banks of the Rhone.
10| Seabrook Nuclear facility, New Hampshire
This is believed to be the Seabrook Nuclear Power Station in the northeast corner of the United States.
9| Nato Headquarters, Portugal
This one would be hilarious if it weren’t so sinister. Whoever doctored the image of the Portuguese HQ for Nato simply copy-pasted another piece of Google Earth over the actual layout of the building. Weird.
8| The Faroe Islands, Denmark
Part of the islands is blurred on closeup. This is a rumored military installation in a country we previously thought as “harmless.”
7| The Gazprom CEO’s Mansion
What? Some rich guy’s personal paradise is blurred on Google? According to Wikipedia, what you’re seeing here is “a private palace of the Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller.” Why is he given preference over the rest of us? Perhaps we just aren’t powerful enough to convince Google to blur our own homes.
6| Tantauco National Park in Chile
Why is this refuge for Endangered Species completely washed over on Google? Mashable, which seems to have discovered the strange censorship, doesn’t have a clue.
5| Reims Airbase, France
Why is the Reims Airbase in France blocked out?
4| Volkel Airbase, Netherlands
It’s pretty ridiculous how blatantly blurred this one is, but then again, WikiLeaks did publish a diplomatic cable that confirmed the presence of nuclear warheads at this base.
3| Babylon, Iraq
While the surrounding area (including its surprisingly rich farmland) is visible, the city of Babylon, Iraq itself is all blurry.
2| HAARP Site, Gakona, Alaska, USA
HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) is one of the most controversial operations currently active in the United States. The Gakona, AK site and its ionospheric testing is believed by some conspiracy theorists to be the cause of everything from floods to earthquakes, although the evidence of this is very minimal.
1| Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Salinas, CA, USA
Here’s the strangest bit of censorship on Google Maps: the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, California. It’s heavily whited out, in fact, as if an angry hand did the trick. The weirdest part is the facility is just what it sounds like: a seemingly-harmless racetrack
Bonus + Unknown area, Russia
Another one that is so mysterious, no one has a clue what it is. One commenter on the website Siberian Light speculates it’s either “a radar station or missile interceptor,” while another notes that the image of the surrounding area appears to have been copy-pasted from another part of the country.
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