While searching for an island in Lake Harriet in Minneapolis on Google Earth, a reader of the Minnesota Star Tribune noticed an image of a passenger plane in the depths of the lake, saying it's “unmistakably a large, twin-engine aircraft.”
Mysteriously, also on Google Earth, a ghostly image of an airplane was seen in the depths of nearby Lake Nokomis, and part of a plane was observed in Snelling Lake, the Star Tribune reported.
“As far as I know, there's no plane in the lake[s],” Dawn Sommers, a Minneapolis parks spokeswoman, told the Star Tribune.
So, why are airplanes showing up in these lakes on Google Earth? GeoBeats explained the odd spectacle:
“In short, each satellite image you see on the map is actually a compilation of several images,” Susan Cadrecha, a spokeswoman for Google Maps, explained to the Star Tribune. “Fast-moving objects like planes often show up in only one of the many images we use for a given area. When this happens, faint remnants of the fast-moving object can sometimes be seen.”
Lake Harriet and Lake Nokomis are both no more than five miles from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and Snelling Lake is just to the east, so planes frequently fly over these lakes. Mystery solved.
Incidentally, a look on Google Earth now reveals that the lakes in question no longer feature these ghostly images.
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