Top 6 unfortunate buildings on Google Earth

Photo: Google Maps

Residents on George Road, Edward Road and Yeoman Cottages are worried that house hunters might be deterred by the neighbourhood’s airborne similarity to a man’s private parts. On the ground, they are normal homes in a cul-de-sac, erected in the 1950s and 1960s, with an average value of £112,151, according to the Land Registry. On Google Earth, though, the properties appear to be a male member – something that could see their prices fall again.

Indeed, the average home value in the Wirral area of Merseyside rose 0.6 per cent year-on-year in October 2013, joining the overall trend of growth in the UK, as resurgent demand and improved accessibility thanks to Help to Buy caused values to thrust forwards.

In the last 12 months,  though, values have risen in five months out of 12 and fallen in seven; with prices fluctuating, residents looking to sell their home in the coming months could see its worth dip in the wake of the negative publicity.

“Who would want to live in the cul-de-sac that everyone is taking the mick out of?” 45 year old resident Carl Hodge told The Mirror .

“They say Google Earth is fascinating and people spend hours on it but it has been a nightmare for us.”

Hodge called for the street to be removed from Google Earth’s index: “It might be funny but it’s no laughing matter if you’re trying to sell your house.”

Another local Hoylake resident told the paper: “I’d definitely move out if I lived there and everyone was laughing at me.”

Hodge added: “I haven’t heard of anyone moving out because of it but we are definitely worried it would put of potential buyers if we ever wanted to sell.”

Inspired by Hoylake’s unfortunate architectural accident, has rounded up the top six most unusual buildings when seen from Google Earth:


Top 6 unusual Google Earth buildings

1.       Navy swastika, USA

Photo: Switched

In 2007, the US Navy was shocked to discover that barracks at its Coronado base appeared like a swastika from above. The four L-shaped buildings were built in the 1960s but the aerial similarity to the symbol used by the Nazis was only discovered thanks to Google Earth decades later.

In an indication of how much such a discovery can affect a building’s reputation, the US Navy budgeted $600,000 to camouflage the barracks, reported The LA Times .

2.       Merseyside’s manly neighbourhood, UK

Photo: Google Maps

“It might be funny but it’s no laughing matter if you’re trying to sell your house.”

3.       Christian Science Society of Dixon, USA

Photo: Google Earth (via Gawker)

The discovery of Merseyside’s manly appearance followed another unfortunate Google Earth image spotted in Illinois, USA: a church that “looks from a certain angle like a giant phallus”, according to Gawker .

The church responded on Facebook :

4.       Guitar shaped mansion, USA

Photo: Zillow

An extravagant mansion for sale in Alabama won a lot of attention when it hit the market in 2011 thanks to the guitar-shaped estate. Despite its aerial appearance, though, the owner turned out not to be a famous musician or serious rock fan. “The guitar was just a whimsical, great idea,” listing agent Pam Ausley told Zillow. “You know he just thought it up … and it’s gotten a lot of attention.”

5.       Happy Versailles, France

Photo: Chris Devers

The Palace of Versailles is best known as the court of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette – but thanks to Google Earth, the historic property has achieved another cause for notoriety: a giant smiley face. “When I asked if they’d ever noticed how much it looks like a smiley face & stick figure, they laughed and said that they had,” explains one observant visitor, “but that most tourists didn’t pick up on it.”

6.       The leaning tower of JP Morgan Chase, USA

Photo: Nodalbits

Google Earth’s rendering of buildings from an isometric angle has led to many architectural oddities being seen that do not actually exist. One of the best examples is the JPMorgan Chase Tower in Dallas, which appears to be leaning directly into the Tramwell Crow Center, located just across the street. The optical illusion has been named the “Escher Effect” after Dutch artist, M. C. Escher.