Dec. 2, 2010 -- Iranian officials reportedly are outraged after learning that a Google Earth satellite image revealed a star of David emblazoned atop the roof of the Tehran airport.
According to Arabic language news outlet Al Arabiya, national leaders called for the immediate removal of the Zionist symbol after it was discovered on top of the main building of Iran Air.
Although Israel and Iran broke ties more than 30 years ago, Al Arabiya reported that the Iran Air building was built by Israeli engineers before the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Citing local reports, it also said that not only did the Iranian government hire Israeli engineers to build the airliner's headquarters, it also scheduled regular flights between the two countries.
But this isn't the first surprising spectacle revealed, compliments of Google Earth. Take a look at a few other Google Earth wonders below.
Arizona's Oprah Maze
She's one of the biggest stars on the planet, so it only makes sense that she has a special place in Google Earth, too. Arizona's Schnepf Farms carves a maze with the outline of a famous person into its 10-acre cornfield each year around Halloween. Larry King, Jay Leno and Steve Nash are among the celebrities who have been recognized in this way. In 2004, Oprah Winfrey was the farm's celebrity of choice.
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.
Firefox Crop Circles
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.
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.
Googling for Gold
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.
Citing Maritime Law, on Land
"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.
Lost City of Atlantis?
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."
In the summer, Google Earth helped British teenagers start a new craze: pool dipping. The cunning teens used Google Earth to find homes with pools and then organized pool parties using social networking sites. This led a police representative to tell the U.K. Telegraph, "We are advising owners of swimming pools to be on their guard and extra vigilant. We would also warn prospective swimmers that using someone else's pool is trespassing and therefore illegal."