The best of Google Maps: Circles, Paintings, and Rude Messages

Thursday, 29th September 2011 by

It's often the simplest things that get the biggest laugh around here, and when we open the GSS suggestion box it's easy to get overwhelmed with small zingers that get a nice chuckle. So that's just what we did for another episode of The best of Google Maps.

Rude messages

Not everything can make the cut obviously, but things like this painting of a naked woman on top of this building near Phoenix, AZ are certainly eye-catching. Thanks to GSS reader prmckinney for sending it in.

Henry sent us a friendly message in New Zealand that, well, gets directly to the point.

Or you could be like this guy near Austin, Texas who loves to express his satisfaction with American president Barack Obama! Make sure you notice the detail of the middle finger! Thanks to Chris S.


At times just the strange artefacts of Google Maps itself are amusing! Take a look at this rather unfortunately shaped road near the Newcastle FC stadium sent to us by Chris. On the more natural side, Pamela sent us this lake in Alberta, Canada that looks, well, pretty much exactly like a rat.

Signposts for the sky

Rooftops can be an easy target for "on-the-fly" messaging. Marc sent us a link to a huge "Amazing Race" finish line painting on the final approach path to LAX. The wildly popular American reality show has used Los Angeles as the finish line before, but it does seem odd that they actually put a channel and time on it. Maybe it's just a huge billboard instead?

Quetzal sent us the letter Z carved into the desert next to a highway in Coahuila, México, which is apparently the sign of a notorious Mexican Drug Cartel. On a lighter note, Dawn sent us a link to this extravagant field maze that takes the shape of a steam locomotive!

Mystery circles

Sometimes the most interesting things we see on the ground however are circles. You have the obvious crop circles around the world, but then there are perhaps stranger things out there. For example, any ideas what this little circle in the desert sent to us by Mastboy could be?

Or perhaps this circle off the coast of the United Kingdom? Maybe it could be a beacon of some kind? Thanks to scotty for the link!

In a more mysterious entry, a series of strange circular features have been sent to us from deep in the forests of Maharashtra in India. They're remote, they're large, and no one seems to really know where they came from!

The four circles appear to be man-made due to the perfect circular shape and similar size, but no obvious pattern or purpose can be seen. One of the most popular theories are the circles are some sort of ancient water reservoirs, but one could argue how much water needs to be collected in the middle of a monsoon-ridden country!

Some more imaginative people think that ancient aliens visited and made the circles, but they aren't really a patch on traditional crop circles though.

Even the local villagers in Kumbhale aren't sure where the circles came from, even though one of them is practically on their doorstep.

Another theory suggests that the circles are "strikingly" similar to meteorite impacts, but the rims of these circles do not appear to share the same crowning effect that occurs near other true craters - and there haven't been any meteorite fragments found here (although this could perhaps be due to erosion from the monsoons we mentioned).

For some discussion on the circles, including ground level photos, check out this link. What do you think they are? Thanks to Sandesh for sending in this intriguing suggestion.