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Google Earth is a wonderful thing. Instead of spending money flying around the world, you can view cities, national parks, and famous landmarks and attractions from the comfort of your own couch. Here are some of the most interesting places you can explore right from your screen on Google Earth.
Airplane Boneyard: 32.149989, -110.835842
If you head enter coordinates 32.149989, -110.835842 on Google Earth, you’ll find the massive airplane boneyard at Davis-Monthan Airforce Base in Tucson, Arizona. Zoom in close enough and you can see all the different models of planes that have been retired over the years. Whoever parked them all sure did a good job of keeping them in order!
Strange Desert Pattern: 40.452107, 93.742118
In the Gobi Desert in northern China, there's a strange pattern marked in the sand. No one is quite sure what purpose the pattern serves. Some believe it’s a target to train spy satellites.while others believe that it’s a message for extraterrestrials. Whatever it may be, it’s certainly interesting to look at.
Guitar-Shaped Forest: -33.867886, -63.987
Type in coordinates -33.867886, -63.987 and you’ll get to enjoy images of the town of Cordoba, Argentina. Among the plots of farmland lies a strange, guitar-shaped forest. A farmer named Pedro Martin Ureta is responsible for the incredible project. One day while flying over the land, Ureta's wife noticed that one of the plots looked like a milking pail and she thought it would be fun to make something else on their farm. She always loved the guitar, so that’s what they decided to make.
Unfortunately, his wife died before the dream could become a reality. In the following years, Pedro and his children planted thousands of trees to create the forest to honor the memory of their beloved wife and mother.
World’s Largest Swimming Pool: -33.350534, -71.653268
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next outdoor project, zoom in on the San Alfonso del Mar resort in Algarrobo, Chile. In 2006, the resort earned the Guinness World Record title as the largest swimming pool on Earth. The massive pool is over 3,300 feet long and covers over 19 acres of land! The pool also holds 66 million gallons of water. Imagine how long that would take to fill with your garden hose. With Google Earth, you can really appreciate the incredible size of the pool from above.
Potash Ponds: 38.483378, -109.681333
Located in Utah, you’ll find the potash ponds of Intrepid Potash, Inc. In order to absorb more sunlight and create more heat, the potash ponds are dyed bright blue. As evaporation occurs and the minerals go through chemical processes, the ponds change to different, vibrant colors that contrast in beautiful ways with the surrounding redness of the desert.
Island in a Lake on an Island in a Lake on an Island: 69.793000, -108.241000
Yes, you read that correctly. There are tons of lakes on Victoria Island in Canada and many of them are large enough to have their own islands. As if an island in a lake on an island weren’t crazy enough, one of those islands in one of those lakes has its own lake and inside of that is yet another island! That small island has been cleverly named Inception Island. The best way to attempt to understand this complex geography is from Google Earth’s bird’s eye view tool.
Grand Prismatic Spring: 44.525049, -110.83819
Aside from getting directions, one of the best uses of Google Earth is checking out incredible natural wonders that you wouldn’t normally be able to see. Of course, it’s possible to visit Yellowstone National Park in person, but the views from above offer a completely different perspective of the unique features of the park. Typing in coordinates 44.525049, -110.83819 will take you to an aerial view of the Grand Prismatic Spring, which is an incredibly colorful thermal pond.
Oil Fields: -37.654461, -68.171228
To truly take in the scope of human impact on the land, check out the massive oil fields in Rio Negro, Argentina. Hundreds of fields dot the desert landscape and are connected by a dense web of access roads.
Meteor Crater: 35.027185, -111.022388
Not all massive impacts on Earth were created by humans. Out in the Arizona, you’ll find the Barringer Meteor Crater. Since it’s located in the desert, there’s very little erosion to wash away the crater, which makes it one of the best-preserved meteor craters on Earth. From above, you can really see the power and destruction of a meteor when it strikes the ground. The crater is almost one mile across and 550 feet deep!
Feature photo credit: ncognet0/ iStock