Thank you to GEB reader James for sending us this amazing find. If you go to this location in Google Maps / Mars, you will find an image of a secret Mars Base:
After doing some research, we discovered that it is actually a Google Data Centre being built in anticipation of future Mars settlement.
So is it real? Well given that Google posted about it on March 31st, just before April Fool’s day, we think not.
We have previously looked at how to get HiRISE imagery into Google Mars. So we decided to try and find out which image Google used. We are fairly sure it is a section of HiRISE image ESP_037117_1755 captured on 27 June 2014. Unfortunately, Google has only included the colour portion of the image in Google Maps and Curiosity is just off the edge. However, if you know where to look, you can see Curiosity’s tracks going across the image.
Curiosity’s tracks, as seen in Google Maps / Mars
Curiosity as seen in the original image (not included in Google Maps).
If you want to explore the imagery more in Google Mars, download this KML file. We have included a screen shot from Google Maps of the Secret Mars Base, a low resolution version of the original HiRISE image, and a higher resolution version of the relevant area.
We have also marked the location of Curiosity at the time, and if you turn on the Google Mars layer:
Mars Gallery->Rovers and Landers->MSL Curiosity Rover (USA)->Traverse Path, then it will help you trace the rover’s tracks in the higher resolution image. We have done our best to line up the imagery with the track. Turn off
Mars Gallery->Rovers and Landers->MSL Curiosity Rover (USA)->Gale crater landing site as it adds imagery which will obscure the images in the KML file.
For a number of other posts where we managed to track down almost all the residents of Mars see here.
About Timothy Whitehead
Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.
George Hayduke says
there is really nothing worse in the world than april fools day posts.
It was an April Fools event by Google Cloud.
Daryl Baez says
Where is it said it’s an April fools joke?
What a waste of time, instead of wasting their time like that, they should use the that time to actually go and build something….
Aaron Gardner says
If the buildings on Mars were just an April fools day joke, Why are they still there in July?
kevin Pat says
Not really a funny joke. Why prank the UFO community, with such an obscure and random thing. Must have taken quite a bit of time to align all the shadows, input the dirt paths, looks like maybe a bit of red dust on the roofs etc., but then leave the pick up truck in? Just seems like if you’re going to go through all that trouble, why not at least photoshop the truck out too? What a lame joke, it isn’t even funny. I’d expect google could come up with something a little better than a phony base on mars…
If this was photo shopped it was very well done! Congrats on who ever did this.
Joshua todd says
its was probably covered us as a April Fools joke
Of course they’re are going to try to debunk it.
April fools?? Hah, not everyone uses google mars. Fool the aliens not us humans. Obviously a cover up of NASA’s mistake, they forgot to airbrush it on google mars lol
Morten Erichsen says
What are you all talking about?? There is nothing there. Mandela effect perhaps?
It seems that it has been removed. I was able to see it some days ago, but now it’s gone.
So NASA “fixed” it.