Google's Frank Taylor and Google Sightseeing's James Turnbull said there's a lot of love on Google Earth. They've compiled whole collections of heart-shaped things seen from space, as well as a handful of visible marriage proposals. This heart-shaped lake in Ohio is just one of several like it found by members of the Google Earth community.
In a bid to generate some PR buzz for the Web browser in 2006, some Firefox fans made a gigantic Firefox logo in a crop field. According to the Google Earth blog, the project involved significant planning, building of the crop stompers, GPS devices and a helicopter (to capture the aerial photo). This crop circle is one of a large collection of crop circles visible through Google Earth.
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.
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.
"It's true that many amazing discoveries have been made in Google Earth, including a pristine forest in Mozambique that is home to previously unknown species and the remains of an ancient Roman villa," a statement from Google read. "In this case, however, what users are seeing is an artifact of the data collection process.
"Bathymetric [or sea-floor terrain] data is often collected from boats using sonar to take measurements of the sea floor," the statement added. "The lines reflect the path of the boat as it gathers the data."