Seven Strange Sites On Google Earth To Inspire Storytelling

Storytelling is a fundamental part of human existence. Though not as required for life as breathing or water, without stories our ability to share and communicate ideas would be severely hampered. Progress would grow molasses slow as the imagination dulls. Thankfully, the inspiration for a story can come from anywhere and at any time. A picture, a song, a piece of overheard conversation, can create that spark of imagination. These seven sites on Google Earth are bursting with imagination-inspiring fuel for great storytelling.

Pentagram in Kazakhstan

google-earth-travelCoordinates: 52°28’46.96”N, 62°11’8.85″E

The Facts: The pentagram here measures at nearly 400 meters and exists in an isolated area of Kazakhstan. Many believe it’s a large satanic ritual site while others think it’s for UFOs. But the site is an abandoned park built during the height of the USSR.

The Fiction: Decades ago this place was a Russian laboratory experimenting with genetics. Monstrous creations escaped containment, and the lab was sealed, becoming a prison of nightmares. Now, greedy corporate interests want the treasure-trove of scientific research locked inside, and it’s up to a rag-tag team of mercenaries to retrieve it.

Desert Breath

google-earth-travelCoordinates: 27°22’50.04”N, 33°37’56.55″E

The Facts: The pattern in the picture takes up 100,000 square meters of Egyptian desert near the Red Sea. It’s an art installation built in 1997 and designed by Danae Stratou, Alexandra Stratou, and Stella Constantinides. For the artists, it’s a monument to nature.

The Fiction: An inspired artist creates a visionary work of art in the desert. But what no one knows is that his inspiration was fueled by alien possession. The work of art, admired by millions, becomes the catalyst for an interdimensional alien invasion.

The Lake of Blood

google-iraq-travelCoordinates: 33°23’46.48”N, 44°29’11.18″E

The Facts: Only a few years ago, this lake in Iraq was blood red, and there’s no reason as to why. If you look it up today, it looks like an average pool of water. But the mystery of the red tint lives on.

The Fiction: We open on the red lake. A slow pan up from the blood-stained water. The shores surrounded by thousands of dead who bleed into the pool. One lone, living woman, covered in dirt, sweat, and blood, stands in the field of death. Our story then begins one week earlier with the woman standing before the same lake; only the water is pristine, and all the people are alive and well.

Circles & Diamonds In New Mexico

google-scientology-travelCoordinates: 35°31’27.84”N, 104°34’19.37″W

The Facts: Truth is stranger than fiction. The area is a compound owned by the Church of Scientology. The symbol is for followers to find Earth when they return after the human race wipes itself out. Scroll, a little south and east on Google Earth, to see the mansion which is rumored to have an extensive underground section.

The Fiction: Hell, just take the above and add in a group of people who come together to find out the truth. They infiltrate the compound only to find out that the crazy conspiracy theories pale in comparison to the Church’s real, evil, and horrifying agenda.

The Shipwreck

google-shipwreck-travelCoordinates: 19°38’45.07”N, 37°17’42.83″E

The Facts: The SS Jassmin, a Peruvian cargo and passenger vessel, shipwrecked off of the coast of Sudan back in 2003. Since then it’s become one of the largest and most popular wrecks in the world. Most of that is because Google Earth explorers made a big deal about it.

The Fiction: A young, truth-seeking woman searches the wreckage of the SS Jassmin to find her father’s remains. What she uncovers are terabytes of information that could change the world. But not everyone wants to make the world a better place and wanted the data to stay buried at the bottom of the sea.

The Living Planet

google-lips-earth-travelCoordinates: 12°22’13.33”N, 23°19’20.08″E

The Facts: This one is pretty straightforward. It’s hills and other natural formations coming together in just the right way to look like Earth’s giant lips. From the ground, it doesn’t look at all spectacular, but thanks to Google Earth, we can all admire it from space.

The Fiction: A God buried beneath the ground reawakens and swallows millions of people left on the surface. As the God continues to break free of its earthly coffin, earthquakes and tsunami devastate millions more. It’s a constant struggle to survive the new master of Earth.

The Island That Doesn’t Exist

google-travel-pacificCoordinates: NOT AVAILABLE?!

The Facts: At some point in the 19th century the “Sandy Islands” were added to maps and scholars aren’t clear why. Regardless, according to maps, it was there, but on Google Earth, it wasn’t, so Google put a black rectangle for a while. In 2012, the island was officially “undiscovered” by a group of Australian scientists.

The Fiction: In 2000, a group of HAM radio operators set out to prove the island was a myth. What they discovered was the city of Atlantis; a mobile, underwater metropolis that has not surfaced again until now!

HONORABLE MENTION: Giant Pink Bunny

travel-bunny-googleCoordinates: 44°14’39.00”N, 7°46’10.86″E

The Facts: The only fact you need to know is that it’s worth installing Google Earth just to see this for yourself. This giant bunny would make Donnie Darko’s Frank the Bunny pee himself. The more you zoom in, the creepier it gets.

The Fiction: A classic b-movie in the vein of Killer Klowns from Outer Space or Zombeavers. Dave Taylor and his girlfriend, Sarah, have had sex exactly one time. Dave wants to do it every day, but Sarah thinks they’re going too fast. When Taylor and Sarah find themselves trapped in a warehouse with genetically modified carnivorous rabbits, screwing will be the last thing on anyone’s mind.

“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.”
–J.K. Rowling

Ruben Diaz
Ruben Diaz
Writer, film-fanatic, geek, gamer, info junkie & consummate Devil's advocate who has been fascinated by Earth since 1976. Classically trained in the ways of the future.

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