Occasionally, in my travels in the spooky corners of social media, I run across fans of various flat Earth conspiracy theories. Usually I click away, because who has time for such nonsense? In this case, however, I’m super glad I watched this video, despite the hashtags indicating its adjacency to flat Earth conspiracy theories. It’s a real doozy.
In short, this fine fellow was amusing himself with the web app Google Earth one evening and came across something incredibly curious when he clicked on the supposed “street view” of the South Pole, Antarctica.
WATCH VIDEO HERE
Honestly? I didn’t believe him at first. But then I visited Google Earth myself and followed his directions and saw the exact same thing: an office building hallway.
To see for yourself, go to Google Earth, scroll to Antarctica, and zoom in on the center of the continent until you see the white "Pac-Man” figure at the South Pole. Keep zooming until it’s pretty large on the screen, then click the little man icon that indicates “Street View”. The hallway photo should pop up for you, too.
It’s hard to read the office signs on the door, but some who have done the research say this is an office building in Brazil. Outside the windows are plenty of trees and all buildings.
In other words, it ain’t the South Pole.
So what’s going on?
Well, it's either a prank or a mistake. According to the website Politifact, people can use the “Photo Sphere” feature to upload their own supposed “street view” photos of any location, which feels like a really well thought-out addition to the Google Earth program and not remotely ripe for this kind of abuse or error. Ah, technology. Our savior and our downfall.