In a recent Google Earth prank, using a can of white paint, an English teenager painted a 60-foot phallus on the roof of his parents' home, hoping that the giant image would be seen on Google Earth.
The parents of Rory McInnes, 18, learned about the pornographic mural a year after their son painted it, when a helicopter pilot spotted it from the air and alerted the British newspaper the Sun.
When Andy McInnes, 54, was first told about the painting, he thought it was a joke but Rory soon confessed.
"When Rory gets home, he will be given a scrubbing brush and white spirit and he can go and scrub it off," Andy McInnes told the Telegraph of his son, who is living in Brazil until he starts college next year.
Jesus in the Sand Dunes
In 2005, the Google Earth blogs were chattering about reports of the face of Jesus in Peruvian sand dunes. Some say they don't see the resemblance to Jesus Christ, but others still wonder about the origins of the hazy image.
The street view in Google Maps typically shows the humdrum life of America's intersections and alleyways, but last May, two Pittsburgh artists, with the help of more than 100 co-conspirators, threw a street party for the entire Internet.
Timing various public performances along one street, Sampsonia Way, as a Google-owned car drove by snapping pictures, the artists, Ben Kinsley and Robin Hewlett, were able to create a montage of spontaneous performances.
Google already shot its Pittsburgh street views but agreed to come back to shoot the art installation. The company said it wouldn't guarantee that it would use the new images, but when Kinsley looked, there they were.
Los Angeles musician Nathan Smith believes a 19th century Spanish galleon laden with gold and silver is buried on a ranch in south Texas. He is convinced he found its location using Google Earth.
The only problem now? If the ship does exist, it is buried on private property.
The family that owns the land doesn't want anyone digging up their property for a ship no one has proved even exists.
"It has been my experience, more times than not, a legend like this, there is some basis of truth," Smith said. "Because it has been around long enough that they have named it Barkentine Creek. That alone makes me think that there was, or is, something buried out there."
A barkentine is a kind of sailing ship.
Smith has brought the landowners to federal court in a case titled Smith vs. Abandoned Ship, and has argued he has the right under maritime law to dig up a ranch he doesn't own looking for a ship no one is sure exists.
Using the latest version of Google Earth, which allows users to peer under the sea, a British engineer believed he spotted the lost city of Atlantis off the coast of Africa, about 600 miles from the Canary Islands.
The image on Google Earth appears to show a grid-like pattern, which some have said resembles a planned city.
The ancient city was first mentioned by the Greek philosopher Plato, and legend holds it sank into the sea. The exact location of the city, and whether such a place even existed, has obsessed treasure hunters for centuries.
Google, however, had a much less exciting explanation for the undersea pattern.