Google Earth has had its advantages and disadvantages since its debut. While it is a great way to see parts of the world that most of us can never travel to, it also leaves us exposed to the rest of the world. There is no telling who could be looking at us or when we might be captured and left exposed to the whole world.
Luckily, anyone (including governments around the world) can file to have just about any location blurred. Google has respected the requests of many people and even some countries have had their secret locations blurred or removed from the view of Google Earth. Some locations are private properties, some are fast food joints, while some are governmental, such as nuclear facilities or airbases. Other locations are entire islands, regular people’s houses and some are even residential and governmental, such as the Dutch royal palaces. Here are some locations that you’re not allowed to see on Google Earth.
1. 2207 Seymour Avenue
This censored image is the home of Ariel Castro, who kept three women imprisoned inside for more than a decade until their escape in May 2013. The house was demolished three months later but remains blurred in the aerial and street views.
2. Colonel Sanders’s Face, Every KFC
Google Earth is prevented from showing the face of any real person, living or dead. This explains why the face of Colonel Sanders (who actually existed), is blurred out on every KFC logo.
3. Army Logistics Command Headquarters Building
This military logistics headquarters in China is blurred for obvious reasons.
4. Valencia City
Most of this large city, with a population of 160,000, is pixelated even when you zoom in. It might just be an oversight, but it’s hard to over look and entire city.
This is the location of a Dutch tank manufacturer, and is censored in the Army-camouflage way for obvious reasons.
6. Volkel Airbase
The Volkel Airbase has been rumored to hold nukes since the 1960’s which was later confirmed by the prime minister, Ruud Lubbers, in 2013. An understandable reason to censor the airbase.
7. Severnaya Zemlya
A large archipelago with an area of 14,000 square miles that is uninhabited by humans. Why would this be censored? The case is unclear and people have been speculating the censorship of this place.
8. The Faroe Islands
Denmark/The North Atlantic Ocean
Another suspicious area that has been blurred out. Admittedly, nothing much happens in terms of people in this area, but that does not explain why the borders of the islands can’t be sharpened out.
9. Gab?íkovo Power Plant
The switch yard of the power plant is censored for obvious reasons, but it’s done in such a way that you almost don’t notice it at first glance.
Near Moscow, Russia
The street view of this city with a population of 60,000 is perfectly visible, but switching to bird’s eye view will reveal that it’s all blurred. What makes it stranger is that the town of Chudinovo, 5.5 km to the east, is perfectly visible.
11. The Royal Palace of Amsterdam
Several of the buildings that are related to the Dutch royal family have been censored. But even the Royal Palace was censored with a lot of care, as if someone took the time to blur each pixel instead of just obscuring the entire image.
12. Marcoule Nuclear Site
This giant atomic energy site uses plutonium and uranium oxides and was the scene of an explosion in 2011. So it is censored for obvious reasons.