Google Earth compiles images from various sources, from satellites in geosynchronous orbit that take low-resolution photos from tens of thousands of miles above Earth to satellites closer to Earth that capture higher-resolution pictures and even aerial images taken from airplanes, kites, drones and even balloons. The imagery is accessible to anyone who downloads the software, and archaeologists have taken advantage of the valuable resource.
From a bone yard of military planes to a polka-dot pattern created by ants, to cryptic structures etched into the Gobi Desert and even a phantom island in the South Pacific, Google Earth sheds light on some wacky places. Here's a look at some of the strangest.
1. Puzzling Pentagram
On the wind-blown steppes of central Asia, in a remote corner of Kazakhstan, there's a large pentagram, measuring about 1,200 feet (366 meters) in diameter, carved into Earth's surface. The five-pointed star enclosed by a circle, located on the southern shore of the Upper Tobol Reservoir, shows up clearly on Google Maps, the online version of the more detailed Google Earth.
Many online comments linked the site with devil worship, nefarious religious sects or denizens of the underworld. Alas, the pentagram turns out to be the outline of a park made in the form of a star; the star is marked by roadways that are now lined with trees, making the star shape even more distinct in aerial photos.
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