The internet is a dark and entertaining place, where you can discover delights that you didn’t know existed alongside horrible things that you wish you could forget. It’s sort of like the Diagon Alley of the real world. For proof of this theory, you need only to look at the Google Maps secrets collected on this list. Things found out by Google Maps are not only salacious, but they’ll make you wonder what you’ve been caught doing while the watchful eye of Google is upon you (and it's always upon you).
To be safe, the next time you go out you should probably wear some kind of black shroud contraption, or just never go out again. That's the only true way to avoid ending up on this list of secrets revealed by Google Maps.
Some of these secrets and things found on Google Maps are kind of fun, but a lot of them are going make you worry about what kind of people you share the internet (and the world) with. They might even inspire you to start using Google Street View in new and inventive ways. If you’ve ever wondered if there was anything in the bottom of that old lake by your house, now you can find out! At least as long as Google’s flown one of their street view drones over it.
In 2015, a car that had both been missing since 2006 was found while employees at a Michigan mortuary home were decorating their building for Christmas. While looking in a nearby pond, they saw what looked like the roof of a car, promptly solving a nine-year-old missing person case. It turns out that the car had been visible on Google Street View this whole time.
Authorities did not suspect foul play, as it appears 72-year-old Davie Lee Niles may have driven into the body of water by accident.
After a teen in Groningen, Holland had his bike taken, he couldn't get the police to do anything about it. But six months later he found photo evidence using Google Street View. Cameras captured an image of the alleged culprits trailing behind the victim prior to taking the bike.
The 14-year-old used the image to help authorities apprehend two suspects.
Playing around with the Google Street View car can be fun, but as these mechanics from Edinburgh discovered, sometimes having too much fun can have consequences. The two goofs forgot about the pranks until the photos were uploaded to Google months later and a concerned citizen called the police. The images depict a man assailing the other.
Luckily, one of the cops who "solved" the case had a friend who had his car serviced at the mechanic's shop where this took place. Dan Thompson, the shop's manager, told authorities: "It was in the spur of the moment [...] It seemed like the obvious thing to do so I threw myself on the ground and Gary grabbed a pick-axe handle from the garage."
In 2013, while mapping Manchester, England, a Google Street View car captured a "professional" woman servicing a client. The photos were removed by Google once they figured out what was going on, but the internet is forever, so the proof of Manchester's red-light district remains.
Pranksters have since playfully renamed Temperance Street to reflect the activities depicted.