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What did Google Maps cameras discover over a lake in Switzerland? Answered

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Google Maps have been taking "street view" images for a number of years now, and they've captured some interesting things...

In this case, there's a ghostly figure that appears over a lake in Switzerland.
  1. If you want to see it with your own eyes, go to Google Maps.
     
  2. Copy and paste these coordinates for the location: 47.110579, 9.227568
     
  3. Zoom in until you are in street view.
     
  4. Then look to the sky (North-West over the lake).
Was this just a strange camera anomaly? or something more divine? 

20 Replies

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MaryM195 (author)2016-03-30

I just did this and there is literally nothing there

looks like photoshop to me

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JulieB134 (author)MaryM1952016-03-30

Google updates their images every now and then, so it is no longer there.

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Kiteman (author)2012-03-24

It's obviously a stitching artefact - I wonder what other vehicles were on the road at that point?

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canucksgirl (author)Kiteman2012-03-24

Idk... I wish I knew. I've looked at this a few times and I can't figure it out. It doesn't seem to be cause by cars or anything. It's just there (for quite a long distance), and then its not.

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Kiteman (author)canucksgirl2012-03-24

I'm thinking it's the top of a vehicle that paced the streetview car.

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canucksgirl (author)Kiteman2012-03-24

I'm thinking no. Only because you can pan the cameras and see who's behind and in front, and there is no vehicle that paces the google car for that distance. (Having also seen one of the cars IRL, they tend to drive a lot slower than other traffic).

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Goodhart (author)canucksgirl2012-07-05

It wouldn't have to be another vehicle. There are plenty of vertically standing black and near white "objects" shown in the background that could have been lensed into that particular position. The idea then is, if "you" took the picture, did you purposely take a picture of what you saw, or did this appear after you took the picture of the road and valley? You see, if the camera saw something that was really there, then the photographer should have seen it beforehand also.

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canucksgirl (author)Goodhart2012-07-05

That would hold true if it was "me" taking the photo. In this case, the Google camera car drives slowly down these roads with their cameras mounted on the roof taking thousands of images as they drive (and I've seen the car as they drove down our street). If that image appeared in only the one frame, then I would think that it was something to do with another car, but the image can be seen throughout a long stretch (between tunnels) along the lake, and there are no vehicles that can be seen pacing with the Google car. I thought it might have been something on the lens, but they wouldn't just stop mid-highway (where there are no pull outs), to clean the lenses, for it to have disappeared (and then later reappears) as it seems to do.

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Goodhart (author)canucksgirl2012-07-05

I see, sorry I had been in a hurry earlier and didn't read all the way through your post....my apologies

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canucksgirl (author)Goodhart2012-07-05

Meh... No apologies needed. ;-)

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crapflinger (author)canucksgirl2012-07-05

but that's not how google street view works. when you're scrolling down the road it's not actually a linear representation of all of the pictures they took being shown back to you one after another like a movie, and they're not taking pictures with one camera, it's all digitally stitched images put together after (LONG AFTER) the fact. so something being "continuously visible" in a long street view session doesn't mean it was actually in the sky. this kind of thing happens all the time with this type of process.

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canucksgirl (author)crapflinger2012-07-05

I agree, and I understand how the process works, as I mentioned that I've seen the street view car when it drove down our street. They have at least 9 cameras if I recall correctly. Stitching the images together could create some strange anomalies, and I'm not suggesting that this object was in fact "in the sky", but it was strange enough to share... ;-)

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themoose64 (author)2012-07-04

No matter what explanation, This picture looks almost like a man and a women standing on a cloud

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Goodhart (author)themoose642012-07-05

looks like is the very problem we are dealing with. The brain has a wonderful function in which it looks for familiar patterns, and this is one of our biggest internal deceivers of all. What does it look like, instead of "what IS it". :-)

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kelseymh (author)2012-03-23

O. M. G. It's the ghosts of Maria von Trapp and John Calvin!

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canucksgirl (author)kelseymh2012-03-24

I knew someone would have a good answer! ;)

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Lithium Rain (author)kelseymh2012-03-23

Thanks a lot, I hurt myself laughing.

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kelseymh (author)Lithium Rain2012-03-23

:-D See? Jokes are much funnier when you're edjumacated ;->

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gg1220 (author)2012-03-23

That's hilarious! And my brother just walked by and rolled his eyes :P

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