10 Interesting Blurred Locations on Google Maps - Toptenz.net (2023)


Google Maps has changed the way we see the world by literally letting us see the world. You can use your computer to see virtually every corner of the planet displayed in clear photographs. But not every place is open to such scrutiny. A handful of locations have been obscured from view, some potentially for nefarious or mysterious reasons and others for less mysterious ones. For instance, you can request to have your own home blurred out if you want. But that may not be exactly what happened with these other locations.

10. KFC

10 Interesting Blurred Locations on Google Maps - Toptenz.net (1)

Google Streetview is a great way to get an idea of what a neighbourhood looks like before you go there or to look at your own house and try to guess on what day the photo was taken. But if you look around enough, particularly in populated areas, you’ll notice that if the Google cameras ever catch a person, that person’s face is obscured. This is a privacy matter, and it makes total sense. Most people don’t want to show up on Google when they never asked to be there.

If you ever happen to look at a map and see a KFC, you’ll notice that the sign for the restaurant is also partially obscured. This is at every KFC everywhere and the part they obscure is the face of Colonel Sanders. The reason? Harland Sanders was a real person and Google was protecting his identity. Not actively, of course, but as a byproduct of the facial recognition software Google uses. This is probably not the best advertising perk for a famous brand, but it happens on posters and billboards as well. KFC is just the most noticeable victim since so many of their signs are affected and they’re such a large brand.

Because the faces are obscured thanks to software, they could potentially all be unblurred. KFC has expressed they’d like the Colonel’s face to be seen but, while the software automatically blurs faces, the unblurring process would likely have to be done manually. This would take time and money and it’s unlikely anyone is interested in doing that.

(Video) 10 Interesting Blurred Locations on Google Maps

9. Jeannette Island

10 Interesting Blurred Locations on Google Maps - Toptenz.net (2)

Few of us would likely ever be familiar with Jeannette Island, located in the East Siberian Sea, if not for Google obscuring it from view. At just 0.5 square kilometres, it’s not much of an island at all. It was initially claimed by George De Long for the United States back in 1881, but later Russia laid claim to it. Since it’s in the middle of nowhere and is little more than an icy rock, the property dispute has never seemed like a big deal.

On Google Maps, the island is obscured by a black smudge. Naturally, this led to any number of conspiracy theories about the island, ranging from it being a secret army base to an alien presence.

Google wouldn’t comment on why the island was blacked out so it could be something as simple as an error on their end or something more insidious like the conspiracies suggest.

8. Xinjiang Prison Camps

We’re cheating a little bit with this one because everything on Google is banned in China. Google moved their HQ to Hong Kong and China was not pleased. So you can’t actually see anything on Google Maps in China, with the exception of anything that may have been archived prior to 2010. That said, there are other mapping services that China has not banned, including Baidu.

Like Google, this service uses satellite images to build maps. And, like Google, some of those maps have been obscured. One of the most notably obscured locations seems to be a series of prison camps in Xinjiang in the northwest of China.

These camps are where Uyghurs, Muslims and other ethnic minorities are said to be held. An in-depth analysis of maps turned up over 400 facilities in the area. Of that number, 315 are believed to be in service as detention camps or related facilities.

To give some perspective on what that means, it’s estimated that somewhere around 1.5 million people may have been detained in the Xinjiang prisons

7. Ariel Castro’s House

(Video) How to speak so that people want to listen | Julian Treasure

Some of the things obscured on Google Maps are seemingly insignificant at first glance, like a single house. As we said earlier, you can actually request that your own house be obscured, so it’s not too unusual to see this phenomenon. But not all blurred houses are created equal.

The onetime house of Ariel Castro was blurred out on the app and it was definitely not at the request of Castro. Castro is in prison for life plus 1,000 years for torturing three women he held captive for an entire decade.

In 2013, the house was torn down as part of the ruling against him.Google’s photo is still dated to 2009 when the house existed, so the image is still blurred.

6. Beyonce’s House

10 Interesting Blurred Locations on Google Maps - Toptenz.net (3)

There’s a 15,000 square foot mansion in the heart of New Orleans’ Garden District that is obscured on Google Maps. Why can’t people see it? Speculation is that the house’s history has made it something of a thing best swept under a rug. To put it bluntly, this house has been a circus for years.

In the modern era, Beyonce and Jay-Z owned the house. They didn’t live there, but they owned it. That alone has been a mysterious thing as they listed the house for sale in 2021, raising the house by $1 million over the course of a week for no reason but using photos from 2015 before someone tried to burn the place down.

The home was originally built in the 1910s as aPresbyterian church. The church bought more and more land and moved and added onto the building over the years. By 1923, the redesigned church was opened by a group of Ku Klux Klan members, which the rest of the congregation cheered. The pastor was apparently the pastor of the Louisiana chapter of the Klan.

In the 1970s, the then abandoned building was turned into a ballet school. The school was gone by the year 2001 when new owners performed the most massive renovation to date, transforming it into a mansion. The property was then bought for $2.6 million in 2015 by Beyonce’s company.

So why is it blurred out? Maybe Beyonce and Jay-Z requested it. Maybe Google was obscuring the Klan history. Maybe it’s another glitch. Whatever the case, there seem to be a good number of potential reasons behind it.

(Video) Where are MY VIEWERS? (Easier Locations) - GeoDetective #8

5. Mururoa

10 Interesting Blurred Locations on Google Maps - Toptenz.net (4)

If you go cruising through French Polynesia on Google Earth, you’ll run across the tiny island of Mururoa. It’s about 780 miles from Tahiti and for 30 years France conducted their nuclear weapons tests there. As many as 110,000 residents of nearby islands and atolls suffered exposure to fallout from those same tests, a fact that France was not entirely forthcoming about.

Despite the obviously dangerous sounding nature of the island, there’s still an airstrip there, so it’s technically accessible for anyone with a passionate interest in radioactive islands. If you want to view it from afar, you’ll have less luck, however.

On Google Earth, you can only see half of the island for some reason. The way the image has been presented, the entire right half of the island is obscured behind a blur filter. The left half of the island is just such poor resolution there’s little to see besides the clouds.

There are apparently French troops on site to protect the location. That means the site is still an active military outpost and, as such, the French government may have requested to keep it off the map.

4. Jane Allison’s House

10 Interesting Blurred Locations on Google Maps - Toptenz.net (5)

Jane Allison’s house is not visible on Google Maps. It’s a blur, like many houses that have been obscured for one reason or another. Allison lives in Stockton-on-Tee in the UK and her house is the only one on her street that you can’t see. Her privacy is assured, as is the right of any homeowner who contacts Google and asks to have their own home hidden from view.

So, what’s the problem? Jane Allison didn’t want us to see her house. No big deal, right? Not exactly. She had no idea her house was obscured, and she’d been living there since the year 2000. It’s likely that the blur was nothing more than an oversight on Google’s part, but Jane Allison isn’t sure.

At this point, you’re probably asking yourself: who is Jane Allison? She’s… just a regular person. Which makes her residence being blurred out even more baffling.

3. The Amityville House

10 Interesting Blurred Locations on Google Maps - Toptenz.net (6)

(Video) Osthe - Kalasala Kalasala Tamil Video | STR, Thaman

There are only a handful of houses people around the world will likely recognize on sight. Elvis’s Graceland comes to mind, or the White House, but these are not really just houses, strictly speaking. In terms of just regular houses in regular neighborhoods, there aren’t many that rise to infamy unless they get featured in film or TV in some prominent way. You know, like the Amityville house.

Believe it or not, there are over 30 Amityville movies. Not all of them are in the same series, and many of them just use the name because there’s no copyright on the town’s name to prevent anyone from bandwagon jumping. The original series covered the alleged haunting that took place after the DeFeo murders back in the 1970s.

The “true” story of the Amityville Horror can be debated, but there really was a house that real people lived in. The home has been renovated and remodeled so it doesn’t look the same any longer, and it looks like the current owners also requested Google remove itfrom Street View.

2. Gaza

10 Interesting Blurred Locations on Google Maps - Toptenz.net (7)

If you want to check out Israel on Google Maps, there’s a lot for you to look at but one region is notably absent. If you try to look at the Gaza Strip, all you’re going to get is a very poor resolution photo of the area. There are several areas in and around Gaza and across Israel that are obscured from view thanks to low resolution photos that don’t let users zoom in.

Google has said that they try to refresh their database with higher resolution photos when they can. That said, other satellite services provide much higher resolution images of the area but, thanks to its popularity and ease of access, Google is the go to for most people. The reason they don’t clearly show Gaza has been questioned by some journalists since the destruction of war is being obscured.

1. Antarctica

10 Interesting Blurred Locations on Google Maps - Toptenz.net (8)

You’re probably not going to visit Antarctica anytime soon, but if you just want a glimpse, you can turn to Google Earth. Not that there’s much to see there. It tends to be endless fields of snow and the odd rock formation. But there are some sizable swaths of land that Google Earth has blurred out. The reason? Well, that’s up for debate.

Depending on who you ask, the chunks of blurred land in Antarctica are blurred because those higher resolution pictures don’t exist. Why waste resources photographing snow? But other people have suggested that the US is running secret operations in secret facilities!

For what it’s worth, while many websites claim there are no satellite photos of Antarctica, that’s not true. It may have been at one time, but you can actually see much of it today, although it may actually look blurred since all you’re seeing is snow. But there are portions, including research facilities run by numerous countries, that are obscured.

(Video) The Stone Roses - I Wanna Be Adored (Official Video)

Other Articles you Might Like


Where is the giant pink bunny on Google Earth? ›

Bunny in Google Maps

Giant Pink Bunny created by a group of artists near Artesina, Italy as seen in Google Maps. According to the artists' website in a very odd and hard to read artist's statement, the rabbit was knitted and will be there for 20 years.

Why are street names blurred Google Maps? ›

Blurring. Google takes a number of steps to protect the privacy of individuals when Street View imagery is published to Google Maps. We have developed cutting-edge face and license plate blurring technology that is designed to blur identifiable faces and license plates within Google-contributed imagery in Street View.

Why is Israel blurred on Google Maps? ›

The entire country of Israel is shown in low resolution in all U.S.-based mapping services, including Mapquest, Bing, etc. This is a result of the Kyl–Bingaman Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 1997.

Why are some areas on Google Earth blurred? ›

Local law can restrict aerial photography or satellite imagery of sensitive sites; when Google gets imagery from commercial entities or government agencies, those sites sometimes come pre-blurred, according to The Google Earth Blog, which is not affiliated with Google.

What is the creepiest day? ›

Here, in chronological order, are eight of the scariest days in America.
  • August 24, 1814: Washington, D.C. Burned by the British. ...
  • April 14, 1865: President Abraham Lincoln Assassinated. ...
  • October 29, 1929: Black Tuesday, the Stock Market Crash. ...
  • December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor Attack. ...
  • October 22, 1962: The Cuban Missile Crisis.
28 Feb 2021

Where is the Titanic on Google Maps? ›

A few years ago, Google had a special 3D underwater tour with National Geographic to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking. Unfortunately, it seems no longer possible. If you are still curious about where she is, you can find the Titanic at 41.725556, -49.946944 on Google Maps.

What is a ghost image on Google? ›

Google Ghosts are errors or specific things that happen during the photographic process. The discussion if Google Ghosts are real is now debunked.

Where are the sharks on Google Earth? ›

Shark View can be viewed on Google Earth's Voyager section through the Google Chrome web browser or Android app.

Is the Google Earth cat still there? ›

This shelter, run by volunteers, sterilizes homeless cats and homes them while they recover. If you'd like to take a look around, the cat is still there immortalized on Google Maps below.

Where is the floating guy in Google Earth? ›

It's the go-to navigational app for many people around the world, and now Google Maps has snapped a very unusual photo of what appears to be a floating man. The strange photo was snapped by Google Maps' Street View camera in Bangladesh.

Can people have their houses blurred on Google Maps? ›

If Google is the owner of the photo, you can request blurring or report the photo, as long as it contains: Your face, home, or other identifying information.

How do I block my house from Google Maps? ›

Just look up your address, enter Street View, click report a problem, and choose blur “My home.”

Can you Unblur a house on Google Maps? ›

Google warns you that once it has blurred your house on Street View "it is permanent."

Why India is blurred in Google Earth? ›

Fuzzy, low resolution pictures and distorted building plans is how the government and Google Earth have agreed to get around concerns that images of sensitive military and scientific establishments available on the Web could either allow unauthorised snooping or become a ready reckoner for terrorists.

Why India Google Maps is blurry? ›

A Times of India report on Sunday said Google has agreed to blur or distort the installations instead of blacking them out so as not to draw attention to their locations.

Why is Germany not on Google Maps? ›

German data protection and privacy rules are pioneering

This has led a tradition of strong data protection for German civilians, which has created a barrier to Google's Street View Programme. Google has tried to launch Street View twice in the country, and failed both times due to public backlash.

Why is there no Street View in China? ›

Its license to provide map data in China is still retained, but no new map items can be added, that is, street view services are not available (because it will not be allowed to conduct map surveying and mapping in China).

What is the creepiest job? ›

Top 15 Creepiest Careers & What They Pay Spooky, Dirty or Downright Scary, These Jobs Aren't for the Faint of Heart
  • Bomb Technician.
  • Crab Fisherman.
  • Crime Scene Cleaners.
  • Entomologist.
  • Epidemiologists.
  • Forensic Psychologists.
  • Herpetologist.
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist.
17 Nov 2020

What is the creepiest mask? ›

Here then are 20 of the scariest masks ever to turn up in horror movies:
  • Unnamed Serial Killer Mask.
  • Cupid. ...
  • Smiley. ...
  • Night Owl. ...
  • Lamb, Tiger, and Fox Masks. ...
  • Wind-Up Frog Mask. As worn by: The unfortunate Dr. ...
  • Pig Mask. As worn by: Jigsaw's various acolytes in the Saw franchise. ...
  • Peachfuzz Mask. As worn by: Josef in Creep. ...

Is there a ship bigger than the Titanic? ›

At about five times the size of Titanic, the world's largest cruise ship is Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas. Spanning 18 decks, Wonder is the fifth Oasis Class cruise ship to be launched. Size is everything with Symphony, as she is 1,188 feet in length.

Where does the Titanic lie now? ›

The wreck of the Titanic—which was discovered on September 1, 1985—is located at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, some 13,000 feet (4,000 metres) underwater. It is approximately 400 nautical miles (740 km) from Newfoundland, Canada.

Is the Titanic still here today? ›

The wreck of the RMS Titanic lies at a depth of about 12,500 feet (3,800 metres; 2,100 fathoms), about 370 nautical miles (690 kilometres) south-southeast of the coast of Newfoundland. It lies in two main pieces about 2,000 feet (600 m) apart.

What is magic eraser Google? ›

You can use Magic eraser to quickly remove unwanted objects from your photos and Blur to change the area of focus.

Are Google images private? ›

Google Photos doesn't sell your photos, videos, or personal information to anyone and we don't use your photos and videos for advertising.

Is there a hidden in Google Photos? ›

Google Photos hide photos with Locked Folder

Locked Folder is another new feature that Google Photos provided earlier 2021, you could save sensitive photos and videos in Locked Folder and these items will not show in search results, albums and it cannot be accessed by other apps.

How big is a megalodon Google? ›

megalodon was not only the biggest shark in the world, but one of the largest fish ever to exist. Estimates suggest it grew to between 15 and 18 metres in length, three times longer than the largest recorded great white shark.

Does Google Earth have underwater? ›

Discover the wonders found under the sea with Street View imagery collected by Underwater Earth and The Ocean Agency.

Did megalodon exist? ›

Internet rumors persist that modern-day megalodons exist – that they still swim around in today's oceans. But that's not true. Megalodons are extinct. They died out about 3.5 million years ago.

Do police use Google Earth? ›

While the cops would have been able to find the fields strictly based on the GPS coordinates, their use of Google Earth demonstrated just one way in which law enforcement agencies across the country and around the world are using the popular mapping service, both to fight crime and to offer valuable information to the ...

Can sharks be seen on Google Earth? ›

They are small, harmless sharks that are generally pretty inquisitive, but also quite camera shy. They can be seen in many of our images, but you have to look carefully.

Does Google have a dog? ›

Its owner and long time Googler Urs Hlzle, who is now the senior VP of Engineering at Google, first brought the dog with him to work back in 1999. Yoshka quickly became friends with everyone, "even people who delivered packages to the office," Google notes in an old blog.

Where is the broken face on Google Earth? ›

Broken Face

Reddit users report that this creepy broken face on Google Maps is somewhere on the coast in The Hague, Netherlands.

Why did Google blur my house? ›

If this has happened, it could be for several reasons: The previous occupant of the property requested blurring. Your landlord decided to blur the house. A neighbor has blurred their property, and it has been done inaccurately (either by the neighbor or Google.

How do I Unblur a picture on Google Maps? ›

After a photo is blurred and published, the blur can't be removed from the photo.
To delete a photo you've shared on Google Maps:
  1. Tap Contribute. .
  2. Tap View your profile.
  3. Under "Photos," select the photo you want to delete.
  4. Tap More. Delete this photo.

How do I Uncensor Street View? ›

The un-blurred images can be accessed by clicking “Request original image” on the street view you are interested in. The process can take up to 24 hours, but we've already managed to unblur this image of a man leaving a sex shop.

How do I Unblur Google? ›

Switching to Reader Mode in Chrome

Enter "chrome://flags" into the address bar of a Chrome web browser window. Chrome's hidden Reader Mode may be able to unblur text on certain sites, including some that are behind paywalls. This address takes you to the page you'll need to access to activate the feature.


1. Keith Urban - The Fighter ft. Carrie Underwood (Official Music Video)
(Keith Urban)
2. Eddie Money - Take Me Home Tonight/Be My Baby
3. Kool & The Gang - Get Down On It
4. Soundgarden - Fell On Black Days (Official Video)
5. Top 10 Terrifying Places In Texas That Are Pure Evil
6. Marilyn Manson - Cry Little Sister
(Marilyn Manson)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kerri Lueilwitz

Last Updated: 01/30/2023

Views: 6347

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kerri Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1992-10-31

Address: Suite 878 3699 Chantelle Roads, Colebury, NC 68599

Phone: +6111989609516

Job: Chief Farming Manager

Hobby: Mycology, Stone skipping, Dowsing, Whittling, Taxidermy, Sand art, Roller skating

Introduction: My name is Kerri Lueilwitz, I am a courageous, gentle, quaint, thankful, outstanding, brave, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.