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If you misspell Utah on Google Maps as Utak like we did recently, you will be taken to Krasnovodsk, Turkmenistan. Apparently, UTAK is the city's airport code. Some cursory searching tells us that somewhere nearby is a weather station that has been gathering data since 1883. And not much else.

But look to the right of the green arrow, and you'll see a series of horseshoe-shaped tumuli, each one measuring at least 100 feet wide, bisected at the middle, and paired with a linear mound in the front/back. The configuration reminds one of an amphitheater.


Lest someone tell us that they are simply defensive fortifications or ordnance storage bunkers or outdated meteorological instruments or the beta test site of Bush-Putin's Transcaucasian missile shield or Michael Heizer's Complex Four or ancient auroral observatories — don't!

Better to speculate than to be told the truth, right?

In any case, sensing that other places might also have their own lexical doppelgängers, which you can only navigate to via a careless mistype on Google Maps, we typed in Chiago, Ney York, New Yoirk, Califronia, Oaris, etc.

But rather than being sent to some antipodean other place, dotted with strange manmade formations that defy explanations by even the most seasoned CIA satellite intelligence analysts, Google asked us if we meant to type something else. Very irritating, to say the least.

One can't help but wonder, then, if Google is intentionally preventing us from finding these counter-sites and terrestrial obverses, and only through the most random slip of the fingers can we possibly break its algorithmic barrier and discover other Utaks. After all, online cartographers have stumbled into weirder places by accident before.
  • Geoff Manaugh
  • June 12, 2007 at 2:40:00 AM CDT
  • They have huge horses over there, is all.

    They leave giant hoofprints.

  • adam
  • June 12, 2007 at 2:52:00 PM CDT
  • I'm all for speculation as well... however - reality seem to exceed our humble human imagination more often than not. This might not count for the imagination of mr Trevi though.

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