80 mile-wide Signature in Ocean Floor in Google Earth

Got a tip from a scientist at Scripps Institute of Oceanographers (SIO), who helped develop the new ocean floor imagery in Google Earth. Apparently the scientist, named David T. Sandwell, had added a signature in ocean floor data to keep track of the use of their portion of the data. You probably wouldn’t notice this without knowing where it is, but it is over 80 MILES wide! The feature is to the southwest of Malaysia. To see the signature, fly here or fly to “N 0 E 94.75“. Since it is so large, you need to fly to about 100 miles high to see the full signature which says “DTS/SIO“.
Here’s a screenshot:
Giant signature on ocean floor in Google Earth
This sets a new record for largest visible man-made object in Google Earth – although in this case it’s not actually physically present on Earth. I think its great to be able to see your mark in such a popular application like Google Earth. That’s why people love it when their favorite placemarks get included in a layer. Thanks to GEB reader David, the author of the signature, for the tip. I don’t think the signature in the sea floor does any harm, but I suspect Google may choose to remove it.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. And all this time I’ve been looking for Slartibartfast in Norway.

  2. Christoph says:

    Funny thing! The new ocean floor imagery looks great and I hope there will be some improvements in the future. It would be great to have the choice whether to see the bathymetry or the satellite pictures. At the Gibraltar Strait, for example, the aerial photos show phantastic features like giant internal waves (S of Málaga, S of Barbate, N of Ceuta) that form due to the currents and the topography. On the other hand side, at this special place it would be great to have the bathymetry.

  3. There’s a second one, also on the equator, at around 0° 4’47.93″S 33° 6’32.98″W. It’s not as legible as the first one. I’ve posted it in the GE Community at http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1194410&#Post1194410

  4. Gibraltar Strait – at least some of the offshore shipping has survived – GE provides some fascinating snapshots of shipping in an around ports, but not sure how much may have sunk without trace in the latest changes.
    Very significant, as pointed out by a contributor to Ogle Earth blog, is the disappearance of the Arctic ice. Very unhelpful, say, for children learning about the environment. But is it an ominous prediction?

  5. What would really be neat, once they add the 3-D topography layer to the Ocean Floor, would be to add 3-D shipwrecks, allot like the 3-D buildings layer that you can see in most cities.

  6. So not only did this Sandwell guy tag the ocean floor in mile-wide letters, he also tipped you off about it? How crass…

  7. Evidently there are some artifact images over Google Earth, some time sonar or radar method could be produce it.
    So check our web http://www.ubicacionatlantida.com and you can see a location in Earth that have a very similar composition of metropoli of the Atlantis. We make a kmz file and put on the web.
    We check our data with NOAA.gov and Oregon University, actually we are talking with other scientist over geology,isostasy theory from Airy-Heiskanen and Lithosphere flexion. We introduce every day new data on web about this theme.

  8. There is a “real” signature being made in an island to the southwest of Abu Dhabi. It reads “HAMAD”, and the characters are about 1/4 mile tall.

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