Back in 2005 Julian Bayliss, a biologist at London’s Kew Gardens, discovered a brand new rainforest that had previously never been studied — and he found it using Google Earth.
According to author Ken Jennings:
Julian Bayliss, a British scientist specializing in plant conservation, was browsing for possible African rainforest sites on Google Earth when he stumbled on aerial photographs of Mount Mabu, a lush peak rising above the savannah of central Mozambique. He was surprised to find 27 square miles of medium-altitude rainforest—the largest in Africa—that, to his knowledge, no one had ever studied.
How could a whole rainforest hide in plain sight for so long? Locals in the area knew about Mount Mabu, of course, but the combination of a lack of roads in the area and a long-running civil war had kept outsiders away. Mount Mabu—the “Google Forest,” as it came to be called—had never been logged. It had never even been mapped.
It’s a fascinating story, as we always tend to assume that the world has been fully explored and tools like Google Earth are simply a way to see it again, but that’s not always the case. I encourage you to read Ken’s fully story to learn more.