Google Maps has become one of those must-have apps since it launched in 2005. It's extremely handy when trying to navigate your way around an unfamiliar city, or find that hidden gem of a restaurant that all the locals are buzzing about.
But the app is so much more than just a navigational tool. It's packed with features that you might not even know exist.
Even though there are plenty of helpful Google Maps features, it does have one strange characteristic that is difficult to figure out. For mostly unexplained reasons, there are places that are hidden on Google Maps, that users are not allowed to see.
Keep reading and we'll show you some of them.
Image: Babylon, Iraq (Souce: Google Maps)
One of the classic 7 Wonders of the World is the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The area is now a city in Iraq. If you try to look at it on Google Maps, all you will see is a big blurred out area. I wonder why???
Kidnappers' Ohio home
Image: Ariel Castro's Ohio home (Source: Google Maps)
Do you remember the odd story a few years back about an Ohio man, Ariel Castro, who kidnapped three women? Castro held the women captive for nearly a decade in his Cleveland home.
The house was eventually torn down by authorities. However, before it was destroyed, Google Maps blurred it out on its Street View function. You can see a capture from it above.
Image: Area 51...Lincoln County, NV (Source: Google Maps)
I'm sure that you've all heard of Area 51. It's a highly classified area of a U.S. military base in Nevada. For decades people have speculated that this facility is used by the government to experiment on aliens that have crashed to earth and deconstruct their spaceship technology.
You might not buy into those conspiracy theories, and for good reason. There's never been any factual evidence backing it up. However, Google Maps does blur the area out so people can't see it, which probably adds to conspiracy theorists' speculation.
Image: North Korea (Source: Google Maps)
North Korea is a secretive country as it is. Making it even more secretive is the fact that you can't see any details of it on Google Maps. City names and green mountains are all you'll find.
Image: Blurred properties at Stockton-on-Tees (Source: Google Maps)
There is an area in England called Stockton-on-Tees. For some unknown reason, two properties on Princeport Road have been pixelated on Google Maps for years. One of the property owners even told a local newspaper that she has no idea why you can't see it on Google Maps. It's quite the mystery.
Image: Air Force facility in Taipei, Taiwan (Source: Google Maps)
This one is especially strange. This facility used by the Republic of China Air Force in Taipei, Taiwan actually shows up on Google Maps. However, if you try to zoom in it won't let you. In fact, it simply moves you to a surrounding neighborhood. Quite odd.
Image: Moruroa (Source: Google Maps)
Moruroa is a part of the French Polynesian islands found in the South Pacific. For some reason you can see parts of the island, but other parts are blurred out. It's believed that France conducted nuclear weapons tests there for decades, which could be the reason for the secrecy.
Image: Faroe Islands (Source: Google Maps)
Denmark controls the Faroe Islands. They are located in the North Atlantic Ocean. No one seems to know why but Google Maps has blurred out part of the islands. It's a mystery for sure.
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Nearly 1 billion people use Google Maps each month. Not only does it show you how to get to where you need to go, it can help you plan weekend trips, entire vacations and so much more. Use these power tips to go beyond your basic turn-by-turn directions.