Technology has expanded to limits beyond our wildest imaginations. Who could have fathomed that we would be able to travel the world one day without ever having to leave the comforts of our own home, with the simple use of a computer?
Search engines such as Google have become more than just a question and answer tool, it is used for anything and everything nowadays, including Google Earth, which has become a phenomenon at viewing the world around us through nothing but a screen.
Although Google Earth allows you to get up close and personal with the Eiffel Tower, Burj Khalifa or simply your own home, there are some places that are completely censored for reasons we still aren't sure of. Here are 20 places that are censored on Google Earth.
20 Michael Aaf Building, Utah
The Michael Aaf building is located in Tooele County, Utah and is fully known as the Michael Army Airfield building. This censored Google Earth location is a military airport at the Dugway Proving Ground and is officially owned by the United States Army. With that being said, it is no surprise as to why a secretive U.S army airport would be censored from the public!
19 Colonel Sanders Signs
This one might come off as a surprise, but believe it or not, any Kentucky Fried Chicken sign anywhere in the world is completely censored on Google Earth. You might be wondering why, but the online tool follows a very specific rule, and that is to not show any people's faces, and guess what? Colonel Sander is, in fact, a real person, and must be censored online!
18 Mobil Oil Corporations, Buffalo
Mobil is easily one of the biggest oil corporations in the United States and Canada. Although we can't pinpoint a specific reason as to why the Mobil Corporations in Buffalo, New York are blurred, it might be due to security purposes and leaving as little information available to the public as possible. This makes sense considering Mobil is known to be one of the "Seven Sisters" that dominate the global petroleum industry.
17 Babylon, Iraq
Babylon, Iraq is yet another region of the world that is censored on Google. Not only is the reason still undetermined, but there have been countless theories as to why no one can view this area. Many people claim that the blurred out area is an alleged "radar or missile interception system," making what lies behind the blur a tad concerning.
16 North Korea
This one does not really surprise us, but it is definitely still worth a mention. Major parts of North Korea are completely blurred on Google Earth. We aren't sure if this is due to secret projects or areas requiring censoring or if Google simply does not operate in North Korea the way it does in other countries.
15 The Royal Palace, Amsterdam
The Royal Palace of Amsterdam is located in, you guessed it, Amsterdam! It is one of the three palaces in the Netherlands that are available to the monarch by Act of Parliament. Despite there being loads of photographs of the palace online, aerial views of the lands and the building itself are completely censored online. We are not sure whether this is by request of the royal family or a security protocol, but we definitely get why a spot like this would be blurred.
14 Tantauco National Park, Chile
Tantauco Park is located on the south end of Chiloé Island in Chile, South America. The piece of land is a completely private natural reserve that spans 1,180 km2. It was created by Chilean businessman and President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera in 2005. The natural reserve was created as a means to protect 118,000 hectares of the region's unique ecosystem, and we imagine the censorship on Google Earth is meant to do the same thing.
13 Cornell University Power Plant
The Cornell Power Plant is located in Ithaca, New York and includes two Solar Titan combustion turbines that are coupled with heavy-duty recovery steam generators that provide the campus with its majority of electrical power and generate approximately 180 million kWh each and every year! Whether the university requested the censorship, or they are trying to hide some secret power plan, we can't help but wonder why the area is blurred.
12 Minami Torishima Airport, Japan
The Minami Torishima Airport is located on a very small island on the coast of Japan known as Marcus Island. It is an isolated piece of Japanese land that is utilized for military and airforce purposes. The landing strip is only 1,300 meters long, therefore, it cannot handle very large aircraft. Although the reasons behind the Google Earth censorship isn't certain, we have an inkling that it has to do with the fact that it is military-related.
11 Keowee Dam, South Carolina
Lake Keowee is home to the Keowee Dam in South Carolina. It appears there is a pattern with what is censored online, and this dam just so happens to be a power utility dam that also serves as a space for public recreational purposes. We are not sure whether these locations prefer hiding their energy sources or are just a tad skeptical, but we do find it odd how many power-related spots are censored on Google Earth.
10 Baker Lake, Nunavut
Baker Lake is located in one of Canada's three territories, Nunavut. Rumors have often gone around as to why this spot is blacked out on Google Earth, and what exactly the reason behind the censorship might be. Many believe that this region of Canada is allegedly hiding extraterrestrial evidence, but that might be a stretch!
9 US Air Force Ramstein Base, Germany
Next up on the list is yet another military base! The Ramstein Air Base is a major the United States Air Force base in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It serves as the headquarters for the United States Air Forces in Europe, making it a very secure and secretive area. With that being said, we aren't at all perplexed as to why this spot is censored.
8 Szazhalombatta Oil Refinery, Hungary
The Szazhalombatta oil refinery is located primarily in Hungary, but have locations in Bratislava and Slovakia as well. Much like the other multinational oil and gas companies on this list, this oil refinery is among the most profitable ones in Europe, which makes it an easy guess as to why the would-be completely censored on Google Earth.
7 Reims Air Base, France
Although this area is permanently closed and is no longer a functioning airbase, it still remains blurred online. The Reims - Champagne Air Base was a major front-line French Air Force airbase that served the French army for decades. Much like other military airbases, the Reims location has too found itself censored for reason in which are still unknown.
6 Volkel Air Base, Netherlands
It appears Google does not want you seeing the Volkel Air Base either located in the Netherlands. Although many airbase regions blurred on Google have no definite reason behind the censoring, Volkel is censored for a very specific reason. According to several sources, this particular European airbase is blurred because it is one of the sites that host "a U.S nuclear weapon repository".
5 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, California
Next up is the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca located in Salinas, California. Despite this spot appears to be a harmless racetrack, many areas of the raceway are whited out on Google Maps and many are wondering why. Although the answer is still uncertain, much like many other censored areas on Google, we can only imagine Mazda Raceway hiding something that they don't want us to know about.
4 HAARP Site, Alaska
The HAARP headquarters located in Alaska are also finding themselves in the hot seat as they too are censored on Google Earth. Conspiracy theories swirling around claim that the headquarters are reportedly home to government missile defenses, which would explain the blurring out of major areas of the HAARP headquarters.
3 NATO Headquarters, Portugal
In addition to other major headquarters across the globe, the Nato headquarters located in Oeiras, Portugal offers very low resolution and blurring over many areas of this location. Despite beliefs that the headquarters is also allegedly hiding government secrets and or secretive military operations, no definite answer has been released regarding the censoring as of yet.
2 Elmira Correctional Facility, New York
The Elmira Correctional Facility, also known as "The Hill" is a maximum security state prison located in Chemung County, New York. The facility is completely operated by the New York State Department of Corrections and it appears the run a very tight ship, all the way to blurring out the correctional facility on Google Earth.
1 Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, New York
The Indian Point Energy Center is a massive three-unit nuclear power plan in Buchana, New York. Much like other major energy centers, Google has opted to censor this location as well. There have been rumors swirling around regarding this area and the alleged reasons that are leading to its impending closure. No answers have been released, only creating more controversy surrounding the matter.