Geology rocks. Pun very much intended. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on to the hardcore things that make up the bedrock of what is all about — beautiful pictures that are hot as lava. Please excuse my dad’s jokes.
A geologist named Will is known for collecting and uploading amazing shots he finds on Google Earth. Some of them are very peculiar. Others are breathtakingly gorgeous. But one thing is for certain — all of them are worth seeing. Scroll through our list of Will’s amazing discoveries, upvote your favorites, and rock on.
“This is a private island on the coast of Maine. The bridge has a gate, and the house overlooks a shipping lane in Penobscot Bay. I’d spend all day watching boats, drinking wine, and telling the world to fuck off.”
“It looks like an abstract painting. My first thought was a huge archeological excavation site. Turns out that was wrong. These pits are used in a very old fashioned salt extraction operation.”
“A fort in Lille, France. I love finding forts while exploring. Star forts are easy to spot shape. I esp. like finding forts in the middle of cities.”
Will goes by the user name geologists make the bedrock on Imgur, where he uploads most of his finds. The geologist from New Orleans told in an earlier interview a little bit about what he does: “I tried to find interesting examples of geologic processes to use in lecture presentations. That’s when I started gathering screenshots of cool stuff for myself. Then I decided to share some images on Imgur because my wife was tired of me making her look at them and listen to my explanations.”
“Here is a perfect meteor crater. It has a very nice raised rim. I bet if you mapped out the lake bed you would see a central peak too.”
“A very sinuous river. This is a good illustration of how oxbow lakes form. In the middle of the image, you can see where a meander loop is being actively cut off.”
“This is the Lakeview neighborhood.
1 day after Katrina.”
“One tip to find interesting geology things is to look for symmetry or patterns in landscapes. Most symmetry is from human activities, but certain geologic processes can create semi-symmetry,” the geologist said.
The geologist also wrote on Imgur that he really likes to “peruse Google Earth looking for cool things. My captions either come from basic internet research or my guess about what’s happening.”
“I couldn’t find anything about this strange place. It’s a huge, planned settlement near Namibe, Angola. It seems to have been constructed around 2013-2014. It also appears to be uninhabited due to no vehicles. Does anyone know anything about this place.”
“A real live oasis!. Not all of these tracks are from cars. The smaller ones must be animal.”
“This is Assamakka, Niger, a community that appears to be fighting a losing battle with the sands. It’s easy to see the prevailing wind direction here.”
Most of us use Google Maps and Google Earth to find our way to where we need to go. Because nobody likes getting lost when they’re in a rush. But there will always be people like Will who see an opportunity to use something functional to find things of beauty.
Google Earth first appeared many years ago, way back in 2001; it’s not a kid anymore, because it turned 18 this summer. Yup, Google Earth can now legally vote and get married.
“The circular reflections of these waves is cool.”
“I recently read the book, “Skeletons on the Zahara.” It tells the true story of some US sailors who wrecked on the NW African coast in 1815. It sucked for them. I wanted to see if I could find a shipwreck. I figured a desert coast would preserve metal wrecks well. It didn’t take to long to find this one in NW South Africa. It looks like a modern ship, and sure enough, it wasn’t there in 2003 (the oldest picture available).”
“A river cutting a hole in the ice.”
What started as a simple project quickly grew in scope to provide ultra-detailed images of our planet. But that’s not all! Did you know that Google’s project to create 3D representations of Earth eventually grew into something spanning the cosmos? That’s right, there are such things as Google Moon and Google Mars. I mean, how amazing is that? We’re hoping that Will decides to look for awesome finds on the Moon and on Mars, too.
“A park in Pyongyang, North Korea. Someone at Google is going to be in hot water with the glorious leader.”
“A lake somewhere on the Tibetan Plateau in summer and winter.”
“Hey, wanna go out?”
“This is some sort of reservoir in Belgium. I’ve never seen an octagonal pond before. I wonder why they made it that way.”
“When she wants to go to pound town, but you can only take her to…”
“A volcano poking up out of the South Pacific. I’m not sure if this one is growing or eroding away. Seems like the rich people in boats are having a good time.”
“While looking up that lava flow in New Mexico, there were some maps showing some nuclear bomb test sites nearby. This must have something to do with that. I’m fairly sure this is the sight of the first nuclear detonation.”
“The dark green lines caught my eye because they didn’t make sense. My guess was that they were logging roads, but then why are they more vegetated than the surrounding fields?
Going back in time. They are certainly logging roads. I guess different plants grew on the churned up roads, thus the different colors seen in the last image.”
“I’ve never seen this saw-tooth pattern on a beach before.”
“Atolls: Hot spots not only punch holes in the crust, but the also raise it up and heat it. As the plate moves away, it cools and subsides. The mountains also subside and also erode. If the mountains are formed in a tropical climate a reef will form around its edges. If the coral growth can keep up with the relative sea level rise from the subsidence, then the reef will survive while the mountain sinks and eventually disappears below the water level. If that happens you will get a circular ring of the reef with an open lagoon in the center like the atoll above. At one point there was a volcano in the center of that lagoon. It’s a cool example of biology and geology interacting and biology winning, so to speak.”
“Some huge gates protecting Rotterdam from the North Sea waters. What an amazing feat of engineering.”
“This was a bit of an optical illusion. At first, it looked like a pyramid, but the coastline is a bluff, so it must be the inverse of a pyramid. My guess is an abandoned evil villain’s mansion.”
“A glacier flowing out into a lake. The presence of a connecting stream suggests the 2 parts of the lake are at different levels. The glacier made an ice damn. That’s pretty cool.
A river trying to do the same thing in another lake.”
“The shadow of a mountain.”
“The Zambezi River downstream of the falls. That’s a very unusual path for any river.”
“I think this is a coal fired power plant in Egypt. Lookin a little nasty.”
“More ships near Tombua, Angola. These might have been intentionally abandoned. They were also not here in the 2003 pics.”