The Google Street View technology featured in Google Maps and Google Earth provides interactive panoramas from the locations of most streets worldwide.
The feature not only finds an address in the middle of the city, but can also help the viewer visit far-flung destinations virtually. This allows one to experience beautiful areas hidden all over the world such as seaside settings, mountain views and sprawling landscapes.
In order to collect Street View images for, humans drive automobiles, tricycles and even snow sleds affixed with multi-lensed cameras all over the world. Drones are used when someone has difficulty accessing a location.
In addition to finding street addresses and providing a view of far-away destinations, Google Street View can also provide a host of entertainment. While Google image recording vehicles roam the land, they occasionally capture moments that are hilarious, confusing and just plain bizarre. Sometimes the cameras inadvertently record events not meant for public viewing.
Here are twenty strange photos captured by the Google Maps car.
20 Pigeon Heads on the Streets in Japan
Pigeons are frequently seen in big cities. New York has the most with over 4 million. The birds are harmless, inoffensive, and gregarious. Although they have long, powerful wings, they prefer to walk using a bipedal gait.
These Pigeons, found in Japan, walk in an orderly fashion in contrast to the smaller birds that scatter about chaotically.
19 Seaweed Man in San Diego
The California Coast is famous for the seaweed that floats on the ocean surface, entangles surfboards, and washes up on the beach. This Seaweed man is either a creature from the depths or a surfer wearing a full wet suit who got in a bit too deep.
The Google Street View car captures everything on the bike lane in Mission Beach in San Diego.
18 Horses Eat Bananas?
It may be a surprise to some, but horses do eat bananas. Because they contain Potassium, bananas provide a healthy snack (along with apples and carrots).
However, it’s unclear what message the young man (or woman) is attempting to convey with this scene, nor is it obvious why two flamingos were thrown in. They may have been lying around in the garage and the “horse” thought they would serve as a nice touch.
17 Penguin Towed Behind a Penny Farthing
Popular in the 1880s, the Penny Farthing high wheel bicycle is a type of bike with a large front wheel and a much smaller rear wheel.
With each crank of the pedals, the large front wheel allows riders to go further and faster than a standard bicycle. The chainless penny-farthings are more efficient than their counterparts with two wheels of the same size.
Google Street Views caught this rider pulling a penguin, whose legs are too short to pedal a bike.
16 Lemonade or a Spot of Tea
In Iceland, it can be a bit chilly even in the summer months. The average temperature in July is 14C and minus 2C in January. So, even mannequins dress warmly.
This one is serving cake and tea, or perhaps lemonade or orange juice. However, traffic is light, and there aren’t many takers. The rain clouds in the distance might make things worse.
15 A Man with a Missing Head
A technological glitch caused by the Google camera resulted in an eerie photo of a headless man. The woman kneeling with a camera appears anxious to photograph the seemingly mythical figure of a “Headless Horseman” before being attacked by a pigeon. However, the headless man in jeans with a scarf wrapped around his neck is missing his horse.
14 Field of Dreams or Scarecrows?
This bizarre photo is neither a field of dreams (there is no baseball field) nor a collection of scarecrows. No crops are visible, and there is nothing for the crows to eat.
Maybe it is a collection of figures wearing the traditional cultural dress from countries all over the world. Perhaps it’s a group of soccer fans walking through a field after the game on their way to the main highway.
13 Self Defense Class or Golf Lesson?
Although one of these men dressed in orange is swinging a golf club on green grass, it is unlikely he is playing golf for several reasons. The grass is not mowed as it would be on a fairway; he is holding a driver, a club used exclusively on the T-box; and there is no golf ball in sight.
Furthermore, golfers don’t wear orange jumpsuits, even in the rain.
12 Reindeer in Norway Don’t Encounter Much Traffic
With light traffic on mountain roads in Norway, reindeer have little incentive to run on rocky paths or through dense forests. The roads are made of smooth asphalt, free of any obstacles, and offer a clear view for several hundred feet ahead.
The only risk is getting those huge antlers caught in the guard rail, should the reindeer veer to the side of the road.
11 The Eyes Don’t Lie
The man in the photo appears to be going through a type of body transformation or perhaps morphing from one hiker to the one seen on the path (same man).
However odd his body distortion may seem; his eyes are the most disconcerting. Perhaps he should keep his sunglass on.
10 Horse-Drawn Carriage Backs up Traffic
Every car that passes slows down to gawk at this horse-drawn carriage in London. Is it the Royal Carriage or just a young, recently married couple riding to their wedding reception the way it was done hundreds of years ago? In either case, the commuters are not happy over the delay.
9 UFO or Drone in Russia?
Photos like this one taken on a street in Russia partially explain how fake but plausible UFO sightings are made. This flying object even creates a shadow on the road, making it look realistic.
If it were real, the extraterrestrial occupants inside would be about half the size of a mouse. The object doesn’t appear to be much of a threat to human life on earth.
8 Missing Snow for Skier in Mont Blanc
In 1966, Richard Martin invented grass skiing as a training method for alpine skiing. It’s gained popularity in both the U.S. and Europe by offering a legitimate way to extend the ski season and, in some cases, enable skiing all year round.
This skier was captured on the green slopes of Mont Blanc near the border of Italy and France.
7 The Google Maps Car Leaves No Territory Unexplored
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” While many recognize this as the official motto of the U.S. Postal Service, it could also apply to the Google Maps Street View camera operators.
Just a pack of dogs and a sled is all they needed to reach this remote location.
6 A Bear Fishes in Kurile Lake, Russia
Located on the southern part of the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula, Kurile Lake boasts the highest red salmon population in Asia. Brown bears typically feast there from June until they hibernate in winter.
This bear has hit the jackpot of fresh fish and came across a fishing hole every angler dreams of: an unlimited supply that's easy to catch.
5 Scuba Divers Out of Water
The Google Street View car drove by a parking lot entrance in Bergen, Norway, capturing these two men dressed up in scuba gear.
Since there is no visible lake or ocean nearby, one can only assume that the two were promoting a local scuba diving company. It must have been hot in those wet suits and walking on asphalt with fins is no easy task.
4 Performing Arts in Pittsburgh
Back in 2008, Artist Ben Kinsley choreographed several scenes on Sampsonia Way in the Pittsburgh historic district.
He scheduled them to coincide with the arrival of the Google Street View car. The vignette shown here is a parade with a marching band and a color guard team. Rainy weather didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of this performance troupe.
3 Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (Seagulls)
Based on a real event in 1961, the Alfred Hitchcock horror movie, The Birds, focuses on a series of unexpected and unexplained vicious bird attacks on the people living in Bodega Bay, California.
Marine biologists believed the disoriented, dying birds dive-bombed into houses in the Monterey Bay area after being poisoned. The erratic behavior resulted in their eventual death. These seagulls are not dive-bombing but they are leaving a mess on cars, buildings, and the sidewalk.
2 Harry Potter Fans View of Diagon Alley
Harry Potter first visited Diagon Alley with Rubeus Hagrid marking his re-introduction to the world of wizardry. They first stopped at Gringotts Wizarding Bank, where they encountered Goblins for the first time.
Harry Potter fans needn’t travel to the Harry Potter Studio Tour at Leavesdon for a similar experience. They can take a trip through Diagon Alley on Google Street View.
1 Google Street View with Tricycle for Tourist Hotspots
Google is using a camera mounted on a tricycle to map tourist hotspots for Google Street View. The vehicles travel off-road to map Britain’s countryside and urban footpaths. Points of interest include sports stadiums, castles, and sites of exceptional natural beauty.
These Google Street employees are getting plenty of exercise peddling a bicycle in the countryside.
Sources: techadvisor.co.uk, express.co.uk, mashable.com, cnet.com, liveabout.com