Geology rocks. Pun very much intended. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on to the hardcore things that make up the bedrock of what Bored Panda is all about — beautiful pictures that are hot as lava. Please excuse my dad jokes.

A geologist named Will is known for collecting and uploading amazing shots he finds on Google Earth. Some of them are very peculiar. Others are breathtakingly gorgeous. But one thing is for certain — all of them are worth seeing. Scroll through our list of Will’s amazing discoveries, upvote your favorites, and rock on. Let us know what you think of the geologist’s pictures, and after you're done, look through Bored Panda’s other list of amazing Google Earth finds.

#1

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"A fort in Lille, France. I love finding forts while exploring. Star forts are an easy to spot shape. I esp. like finding forts in the middle of cities."

geologistsmakethebedrock Report

ADHORTATOR 2 months ago (edited)

The Fortress is still used by the army, the Headquarter of the quick response force....Take at look at the city of Palmanova in Italy

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#2

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"This is a private island on the coast of Maine. The bridge has a gate, and the house overlooks a shipping lane in Penobscot Bay. I'd spend all day watching boats, drinking wine, and telling the world to fuck off."

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Krazy Kanuck 2 months ago

Yep, that is the Twitter logo

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#3

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"It looks like an abstract painting. My first thought was a huge archeological excavation site. Turns out that was wrong. These pits are used in a very old fashioned salt extraction operation."

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Kaisu 2 months ago

My trypophobia does not enjoy this

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Will goes by the user name geologistsmakethebedrock on Imgur, where he uploads most of his finds. The geologist from New Orleans told Bored Panda in an earlier interview a little bit about what he does: “I tried to find interesting examples of geologic processes to use in lecture presentations. That’s when I started gathering screenshots of cool stuff for myself. Then I decided to share some images on Imgur because my wife was tired of me making her look at them and listen to my explanations."

#4

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"A very sinuous river. This is a good illustration of how oxbow lakes form. In the middle of the image you can see where a meander loop is being actively cut off."

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Pamela24 2 months ago

Which river, though?

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#5

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"A real live oasis!. Not all of these tracks are from cars. The smaller ones must be animal."

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EVERLEIGH 2 months ago

Bwhahaha!!! I thought the same!

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#6

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Here is a perfect meteor crater. It has a very nice raised rim. I bet if you mapped out the lake bed you would see a central peak too."

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Brivid 2 months ago

Where is this?

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"One tip to find interesting geology things is to look for symmetry or patterns in landscapes. Most symmetry is from human activities, but certain geologic processes can create semi-symmetry," the geologist said.

The geologist also wrote on Imgur that he really likes to “peruse Google Earth looking for cool things. My captions either come from basic internet research or my guess about what's happening.”

#7

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"I couldn't find anything about this strange place. It's a huge, planned settlement near Namibe, Angola. It seems to have been constructed around 2013-2014. It also appears to be uninhabited due to no vehicles. Does anyone know anything about this place."

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A B C 2 months ago

Found it. It's the Angolan Social Housing Project, more info here: http://construction.citic/en/content/details_47_2356.html

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#8

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"The circular reflections of these waves is cool."

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Nerdiqueen 2 months ago

looks like shattered glass

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#9

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"This is Assamakka, Niger, a community that appears to be fighting a losing battle with the sands.It's easy to see the prevailing wind direction here."

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Monika Soffronow 2 months ago

At first, I thought it looked like gemstones, sapphires half showing in the sand. This is tragic.

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Most of us use Google Maps and Google Earth to find our way to where we need to go. Because nobody likes getting lost when they’re in a rush. But there will always be people like Will who see an opportunity to use something functional to find things of beauty.

Google Earth first appeared many years ago, way back in 2001; it’s not a kid anymore, because it turned 18 this summer. Yup, Google Earth can now legally vote and get married.

#10

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"I recently read the book, "Skeletons on the Zahara." It tells the true story of some US sailors who wrecked on the NW African coast in 1815. It sucked for them. I wanted to see if I could find a ship wreck. I figured a desert coast would preserve metal wrecks well. It didn't take to long to find this one in NW South Africa. It looks like a modern ship, and sure enough it wasn't there in 2003 (the oldest picture available)."

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John Sampson 2 months ago

There are quite a few wrecks along that coast and further. I'm a South African so we get news of wrecks. It could very well be something that happened over the last 10-15 years. If you track further north you enter Namibian territory, known as the Skeleton Coast. The number of wreck going back to the 19th century and earlier, can be found along that coastline. It is not an area that is completely accessible to the public. A certain stretch is out of bounds because it is where diamond mining happens. I worked as an architectural consultant in the town of Oranjemund(mouth of the Orange River), which was a closed town up to quite recently. The Orange River is the boundary between South Africa and Namibia, and if you were to travel as the crow flies, from Oranjemund, Namibe would be about 800-850 km north.

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#11

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"A river cutting a hole in the ice."

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Beatrice Alighieri 2 months ago

It looks like a Fallopian tube and an ovary...

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#12

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"This is the Lakeview neighborhood.

1 day after Katrina."

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Kaisu 2 months ago

I wish they had shown us a before and after Katrina pictures! However, the above pic is from 2018, so we don't know how it looked like before Katrina

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What started as a simple project quickly grew in scope to provide ultra-detailed images of our planet. But that’s not all! Did you know that Google’s project to create 3D representations of Earth eventually grew into something spanning the cosmos? That’s right, there are such things as Google Moon and Google Mars. I mean, how amazing is that? We’re hoping that Will decides to look for awesome finds on the Moon and on Mars, too.

#13

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"This is some sort of reservoir in Belgium. I've never seen an octagonal pond before. I wonder why they made it that way."

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Demi Zwaan 2 months ago (edited)

It's a concrete structure, was probably the easiest, cheapest and safest way to make it back in the 70s. It's also not a pond, obviously, but a place to store water. It's a drinking water production facility.

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#14

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"A park in Pyongyang, North Korea. Someone at Google in going to be in hot water with the glorious leader."

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Trav May 2 months ago

Quite a few other good ones, too. ftr-5d54bb...0c85c9.jpg ftr-5d54bb00c85c9.jpg

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#15

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"A lake somewhere on the Tibetan Plateau in summer and winter."

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TwiceRice23 2 months ago

This guy (as a geologist) should spend more time explaining why these areas look the way they do (or at least tell us where they're located).

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#16

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Hey, wanna go out?"

"Cant', my...."

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DP von Icecream 2 months ago

We, the Dutch, also have a famous fictive name for a town called: Schubbekutteveen. Used for & in many national jokes.

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#17

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Some huge gates protecting Rotterdam from the North Sea waters. What an amazing feat of engineering."

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Vanja Timmers 2 months ago

This is the Maeslantkering, a fine piece of Dutch engineering and very necessary as almost half of The Netherlands lies below the water level. The 2 doors are hollow and are flooded with water once in place. The doors actually don't completely close, there is about 80cm left.

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#18

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Atolls: Hot spots not only punch holes in the crust, but the also raise it up and heat it. As the plate moves away, it cools and subsides. The mountains also subside, and also erode. If the mountains are formed in a tropical climate a reef will form around it's edges. If the coral growth can keep up with the relative sea level rise from the subsidence, then the reef will survive while the mountain sinks and eventually disappears below water level. If that happens you will get a circular ring of reef with an open lagoon in the center like the atoll above. At one point there was a volcano in the center of that lagoon. It's a cool example of biology and geology interacting and biology winning, so to speak."

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Kjorn 2 months ago

i love going on google and spot atolls. it's so beautifull

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#19

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"A volcano poking up out of the South Pacific. I'm not sure if this one is growing or eroding away. Seems like the rich people in boats are having a good time."

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Joshua Binsfeld 2 months ago

This is Molokini Crater of the coast of Maui. I've been here a few times & trust me when I say those are NOT rich people boats. Most of these are snorkeling charter boats because it has beautiful reefs and marine life. During WWII the U.S. military used it for target practice and it shows in the impact craters from shells and bombs dropped on it.

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#20

Guy Shares 151 Of His Most Interesting Finds On Google Earth (New Pics)

"When she wants to go to pound town, but you can only take her to..."

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CR82 2 months ago

This made me lol in the office

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#21

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"The Zambezi River downstream of the falls. That's a very unusual path for any river."

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Jo Choto 2 months ago

I used to live there, right there in the town of Victoria Falls, by the Zambezi. At night, you would fall asleep to the distant roaring of the water going over the falls, nature's sound machine.

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#22

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"I've never seen this saw-tooth pattern on a beach before."

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Monika Soffronow 2 months ago

It is a photo of the zipper keeping the sea and the beach together. Tip of the day: do not unzip it!

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#23

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"While looking up that lava flow in New Mexico, there were some maps showing some nuclear bomb test sites nearby. This must have something to do with that. I'm fairly sure this is the sight of the first nuclear detonation."

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Monika Soffronow 2 months ago

As a species, we sure are proof to "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing", and now Trump is eagerly abetting another nuclear arms race. WHY is he still occupying that post? He is clearly not fit for office.

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#24

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"The shadow of a mountain."

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Doober 2 months ago

Grim reaper

#25

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"A glacier flowing out into a lake. The presence of a connecting stream suggests the 2 parts of the lake are at different levels. The glacier made an ice damn. That's pretty cool.

A river trying to do the same thing in another lake."

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Nikki D 2 months ago

The colors are amazing!

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#26

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"I think this is a coal fired power plant in Egypt. Lookin a little nasty."

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Monika Soffronow 2 months ago

"a little"

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#27

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"The dark green lines caught my eye because they didn't make sense. My guess was that they were logging roads, but then why are they more vegetated than the surrounding fields?

Going back in time. They are certainly logging roads. I guess different plants grew on the churned up roads, thus the different colors seen in the last image."

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Luke Bouley 2 months ago

Trees actually inhibit ground cover growth around them, especially pine and other evergreen types. when these logging roads were cut into the area, they became overgrown with denser ground cover than the areas they (I assume) replanted. they left the roads for when they return in a few years and reharvest.

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#28

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"This was a pit of an optical illusion. At first it looked like a pyramid, but the coastline is a bluff, so it must be the inverse of a pyramid. My guess is an abandoned evil villain's mansion."

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Marcellus the Third 2 months ago

(a) how about a quarry, or (b) you haven't noticed the last image from Dusk till Dawn where the evil temple is revealed?

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#29

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"HA. Nice."

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Sanne H. 2 months ago

When he would have posted the name of the Austrian village at 48.0675, 12.862778 instead, his post would probably not get past the censorship wall...

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#30

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"More ships near Tombua, Angola. These might have been intentionally abandoned. They were also not here in the 2003 pics."

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The Girl on Fire 2 months ago

Huh. I wonder what the story is here.

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#31

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Look at the color of that water. Awesome."

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Monika Soffronow 2 months ago

There is a clear blue sky up above.

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#32

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"A tug boat working barges on the Mississippi River in my home state to Louisiana (USA). Each rectangular barge is ~195 by 35 feet (59.4 m × 10.7 m)."

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Rissie 2 months ago

Real life Tetris :)

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#33

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Boats going through locks on the Erie Canal"

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Marcellus the Third 2 months ago

Then you haven't looked at Ronquires, Belgium. Where they decided not to have a series of locks in the canal, but basically made two gigantic rolling swimming pools connected with a cable: One is up, one is down; boats enter/leave; the 'pool' locks; and they slowly switch to one is down one is up. Incredible waste of money for a little-travelled route.

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#34

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"I sunken ship. Looks like they had a bad time."

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Ale_Vidal23 2 months ago

looks like an otter Swimming on the back

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#35

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"I've always been intrigued by these small boggy pond things. Then often have a "spearpoint" shape and share a common orientation. I don't know why they do that.

Oil wells positioned between those funny ponds."

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John L 2 months ago (edited)

Typical impact sites, as the result of a larger Impactor that struck the planet at a much earlier time. Its not as unusual as it once appeared. This is how all the Carolina Bays were created before the end of the last glaciation. In that one, a huge meteor, or comet fragment, struck the southern N.A. ice sheets and ejected thousands of ice fragments which struck the East Coast, causing craters that left no projectiles lying around. It almost certainly led to the mega-fauna extinction, and that of the Clovis Culture demise. -https://www.scientificpsychic.com/etc/carolina-bays/origin-of-carolina-bays.html -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aw5chtNWzo8

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#36

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"These are landlocked ships from the drying up of the Aral Sea."

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Kjorn 2 months ago

the Aral sea it's a big Shame for Russia

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#37

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Image 1: Cool old forts around Antwerp. They look like a maple leaf.

Image 2: More of the forts. There is a large line of them. Presumably they were once around the outskirts of the city, but are now very much incorporated. The flat side with the "stem" is facing the enemy. I've never seen forts built like this

Image 3: These 2 were blurred by GE. I've seen this with military properties in Europe. I wonder why just these 2 were blurred. I wonder what goes on there..."

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Marcellus the Third 2 months ago

The ring of forts around Antwerp was built at a safe distance around it: Further than artillery could shoot. When the inevitable next war came, artillery had inevitably advanced and they were useless... Similarly the motorway/ringroad around Antwerp (separating 'antwerp proper' from other towns) is sunken as it was a moat; and the 'inner ring' separating the heart of the city from the rest was a spanish (17th century) wall-and-moat. Now these [numbered!] forts are mostly recreational: One is part of a university campus, another is a park, a third is (amongst others) a natural reserve for bats. They have many cool underground (bombproof) storage cellars, excellent for bats and drunken student revelry. Or I seem to vaguely remember... I doubt there's a military one left (having a small army, it's mostly located in cheaper greener provinces) but you can look up.

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#38

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Icebergs and meltwater mixing with seawater.

More of the same. If you stare at the water long enough it seems like you are staring through trees are the night sky."

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#39

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"The coast of Belgium. You can plainly see the long shore current at work here. It's flowing from the NE to the SW. The rock walls are there to slow the transport, and potential removal, of sand."

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AnkeSenden 2 months ago

These aren’t actual walls, which would make walking along the beach impossible and create dangerous wind blasts towards the town, but ordinary ‘dome-shaped’ breakwaters.

#40

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Some muddy water mixing with some slightly less muddy water. This is in my home state of Louisiana (USA)."

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Daria B 2 months ago

It kinda looks like a dancing ghost.

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#41

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"These are some very cool cinder cones in southern California. I wonder which direction the lava was flowing."

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Vic 2 months ago

Looks like a baby meteor following it's mama..

#42

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"An active volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean. Look at the beautiful basaltic lava flow on the SE corner. This was the result of an eruption from late 1952 to 1953."

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#43

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"This might look like an imaging problem, but it's actually patterns of logging in Northern California (USA). I'm not sure why they do it this way. It must have something to do with limiting the area that's clear cut at any one time."

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Hannyyy 2 months ago

This makes me so mad :(

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#44

Google Earth Map

"The Bay of Fundy has the largest tidal ranges in the world. We can clearly see the tidal currents at work here."

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The Cute Cat 2 months ago

I see Neptune clinging in there..

#45

Google Earth Map

"Bay of Fundy. I'm guessing these are enclosures for fish farming."

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#46

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Downtown Dubai in 2008.

Just 11 years later."

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Monika Soffronow 2 months ago

In a hundred years it will be below water. Nothing to see here but hubris in action.

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#47

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Belgium, these bunkers look like they were part of the German Atlantic Wall."

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A B C 2 months ago

Pretty sure that's exactly what they are/were

#48

Google Earth Map

"Platte River with some clearer water. It's such a pretty braided river."

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SirPatTheCat 2 months ago

Plait River?

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#49

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"An unnamed (on GE) village in Namibia. It looks uninhabited, but it could just not have any cars to leave tracks. The tracks could also just be covered up by blown sediments. It could also be a seasonally inhabited fishing village."

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Anton Burger 2 months ago (edited)

I come from Namibia, but I have no idea where that place on the photo is. Can the author of the post maybe post the geographical coordinates?

#50

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"This is in the Punjab region of India. It seems like every inch of land here is planted, except for this part. I can't find any info on this place."

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karen snyder 2 months ago

If you were to zoom out on this map, you'd see quite a few of these unplanted zones. This is the result of the Green Revolution, in Punjab. Most of the green is wheat fields, irrigated by ground water. The brown landscape is what the region naturally looks like and where people used to live. Once modern industrial farming methods took hold, subsistence farmers, using traditional, low-yield agriculture were pushed out and left the area for better opportunity. This is actually just another ghost town.

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#51

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"That's certainly rock, not water. Must be a lava flow. Turns out it's pretty recent too, ~5000 years old."

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#52

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"This is not the famous "Eye of the Sahara," but another exposed geologic dome.It seems like the road is more of a suggestion in this region. All of those lines are tire tracks."

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Magpie 2 months ago

On the bottom pic , top right there is a circle inside a circle. What is that?

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#53

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"When image stitching goes wrong. I don't think that belongs there."

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#54

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"A cruise ship watching ice break away from a glacier. I've been on one of these cruises. This was my favorite part of the trip."

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SirPatTheCat 2 months ago

Wait is this something people enjoy for fun to watch? Like an activity? Shouldn't we be more worried that they're melting? Or do they just naturally fall apart? (Highly doubtful :/)

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#55

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"A marina in Monaco. There are few yachts here. The longest one in this picture is only ~250' (75m). Lame."

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karen snyder 2 months ago

I guess all our panda's "hubris" comments are reserved, specifically for Dubai... (I'm totally still wondering why... The world is full of displays of opulence, visible from a satellite, such as this one.)

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#56

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"The Nile River Delta. Don't the cities and towns look a lot like those watering holes in Botswana?"

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#57

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"These are weird. I've never seen sand dunes in this pattern."

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Monika Soffronow 2 months ago

Beautiful. I could have this on my wall.

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#58

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"This has to be the most braided braided river I've ever seen."

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Monika Soffronow 2 months ago

I had no idea of what I was looking at until I saw the word "river"

#59

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"This is a glacier in Switzerland. The dark colored parts are caused by sediment being exposed on top of the ice. The regularity of the banding suggests it's caused by something pretty cyclic, like the seasons. I don't know which conditions would make more exposed sediment. It looks kind of like an upside down snake."

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SnowMercy 2 months ago

Spine of the world!

#60

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"This is a tiny island off the Libyan coast. GE includes some bathymetry data for most ocean basins, but it is not very high definition. Here we clearly see a reef in the photo, that doesn't show up in the light blue part (bathymetry data). If we zoom out, you can just barely see the reef"

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Wyndmere 2 months ago

Eye see you.

#61

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"This is a huge peninsula on the coast of Western Sahara. Looks like a large community on the tip. Wrong. It's all boats. That's a lot of boats."

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#62

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"An alpine glacier. The black lines are sediment sitting on top of the glacier. Glaciers are really good at eroding."

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The Cute Cat 2 months ago

That is blueberry ice cream with some dark chocolate line

#63

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Point Hope. This has got to be the most isolated place ever."

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TrailerMix X 2 months ago

From Wikipedia: "Point Hope is a city in North Slope Borough, Alaska, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 674, down from 757 in 2000. Like many isolated communities in Alaska, the city has no road or rail connections to the outside world, and must be accessed by sea or by air at Point Hope Airport."

#64

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"I wonder what totally legal activities are happening on Homebrew Island... I guess we will never know."

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Peter Bear 2 months ago

This is where D&D games are born, obviously.

#65

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Awesome sand dunes. The spice must flow."

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Monika Soffronow 2 months ago

This is the third one that I would like to permanently be on my wall.

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#66

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"The trans-Alaska pipeline crossing a river colored by rock flour.

That same river entering another river that's clouded with grayish sediment."

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#67

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"The island is called Nggela of the Solomon Islands. If you go looking for it, turn off "places" or the quest will be spoiled.

Another ship wreck near a small village of the same island"

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#68

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"A relatively older wreck on Baia dos Tigres (whatever that means). Sand migration is moving the shoreline away from the wreck."

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Jo Choto 2 months ago

Baia dos Tigres = Bay of Tigers.

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#69

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"This is an incredibly boggy area in Siberia. There is an oilfield in the NE corner. Image trying to travel across this in the summer... I guess an airboat would be the only option."

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Foxxy 2 months ago

This looks like a Petri dish of mould and germs grown from swabs of your tv remote.

#70

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Where the Badlands National Park meets the prairie in South Dakota (USA)."

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#71

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"I'm fascinated with the man made sand islands in Dubai."

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DP von Icecream 2 months ago

Actually, a Dutch company was (among others) responsible for that. As my nation is kind of famous for its innovative water works/water management & creating new lands straight from the sea.

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#72

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Another cool volcano in the Pacific. I don't know if it's trying to grow out of the ocean, or eroding away."

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Spiritastray 2 months ago

Tortuga? Isn't that Jack Sparrow's hang-out spot?

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#73

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"The Atlantic Mid Ocean Ridge: The largest mountain ranges in the world (the various mid ocean ridges) were not discovered until after WWII! The navy funded many sonar studies to better understand subsea hazards. This data gave geologists the missing pieces to finally understand how continents moved. The resulting theory of plate tectonics answered innumerable important geologic questions that we take for granted today. All of this stuff happened fairly recently too. I know a few older geologists who were not taught plate tectonics in college. The image above is cool because we see the offset/stair-step nature of rift zones. Why transform faults? Well, the rifting of oceanic crust is a very brittle operation. It can't just move apart along a straight line. The rift has to accommodate curves from the spherical nature of the Earth and the curved nature of continental crust boundaries. The transform faults are how that curvature is dealt with."

geologistsmakethebedrock Report

#74

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Some clouds and their shadows. The top one looks like a jumping rabbit."

geologistsmakethebedrock Report

#75

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Some deformed rock formations."

geologistsmakethebedrock Report

#76

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Channels made by ocean currents."

geologistsmakethebedrock Report

#77

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"This might not look like a very impressive delta, but it is. This was the home of Dick Proenneke, a homesteader who was immortalized in the documentary series "Alone in the Wilderness." The river is called Hope Creek. His cabin was just to the north of the mouth."

geologistsmakethebedrock Report

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#78

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Looks like some strong ocean currents right there."

geologistsmakethebedrock Report

The Girl on Fire 2 months ago

Yikes...

#79

Google-Earth-Map-Finds

"Summer vs. winter on the southern coast of Prince Edward Island, Canada."

geologistsmakethebedrock Report