Google Street View has kept us entertained ever since its launch in 2007. Initially, it covered just a few choice cities in the US, but due to its popularity, it grew to include pretty much every location worldwide. The trusty Google car has captured streets, highways, cityscapes and everything in between, gifting us all with the opportunity of being able to virtually visit places that we may otherwise have never been able to.
It has a variety of uses - getting to know your new neighbourhood, looking at a potential new place to live, figuring out directions from A-B. You name it, and Google has most probably got you covered. While that's all great - there's a dark side to roaming around streets unannounced, especially in less desirable areas. Take a ride through the streets of Detroit or even the slums of Paris and you might be met with something other than a 'Welcome to the hood' chicken pot pie. We've scoured the internet to find you some of the darkest incidents ever caught on street view. It's unnerving, sad and extremely eye-opening. So, before you decide on your next holiday destination, you may want to take note of all of these. We would hate for you to cross paths with some of these guys - you may not make it out alive.
15 Public Intoxication
Paris - the city of love. It's famed for its cute, dimly lighted streets, beautiful architecture and of course, the Eiffel Tower. What most people who have never had the opportunity to visit the French capital don't realize is that it's just like every other city; Paris has its less appealing parts too. Some districts are rife with street crime, homeless people and the down and outs of society. Take a detour off the beaten track and you'll be surprised at what you find. It's not all onion soup, baguettes and berets. There's a darker side that tourists don't often see. In his defense, he looks like he's had a long night holding up that lamppost. Wonder how long it took for him to wake up in the back of a police car!
14 Female Company
If you live in a city, or even a biggish town, then the chances are you’ll be aware of the notorious hotspots where one can pick up some ‘female company’. As we know, Google Maps doesn’t discriminate and is tasked with capturing street life regardless of the area code. This vehicle happened to be stopping for what we’re sure is nothing more than a friendly chat with a bare-legged woman in a mini-skirt and see through heels. Looks perfectly legit to us… (cough). Clearly unfazed by the passing camera attached to a car, the two go about their business deal. Sorry – the two carry on chatting about the wonderful weather…
13 Sidewalk Release
We've all been there, you're an hour in to a five hour journey when suddenly, you realize that you've passed the service station and it's a hundred miles to the next one. You've got no option but to pull over where you can and let it all out. What's the alternative? Give yourself cystitis by holding it in forever and a day? Unfortunately, public urination is also a crime, so make sure you're not in view of any cops lurking just around the corner. It's not the most tasteful thing to do and cops have the right to drag you off to jail, or dish out a lengthy fine that'll make you wish you had just held it in. It's all about judging your audience with this one, the sneakier the better.
You're just down on the corner trying to hustle up some business, on the lookout for cops when who should catch you in the act but the Google car. These three were captured after appearing outside of this Brooklyn grocery on a daily basis, raising concern for local residents. The image captured lead to the arrest of the gang, and the capture of 20 glasses of heroin, marijuana and when they discovered the factory, large amounts of equipment and packing material. Who needs Batman, Superman or even Spiderman when you've got Google to save the day and keep the streets of Gotham - sorry - Brooklyn free from crime?
It's almost that time of year again! Time to rock out on your porch with your baseball bat in view, while Halloween season comes around. After all, the night draws in and the hooligans come out. Before you know it, the pretty scene of bright eyed little witches and wizards knocking for candy turns to fully grown teenagers throwing hundreds of rolls of toilet paper around everywhere that they can. Not only is it a crime, but it's a complete pain for the property owners to clean up (okay, we admit it's pretty fun to do, but come on). You don't get this sort of thing around Christmas time, do you? It's all carol singing and mulled wine.
10 Breaking And Entering
Okay, this could be completely innocent - the poor guy has simply forgotten his keys and is trying to avoid the huge bill that'll come with calling a locksmith. By hopping up over the balcony and squeezing in through the pint-size window they could be home free - literally. Or, if we take the skeptical route, then this is a hardened criminal seizing the opportunity to make a quick buck with both hands. From the looks of it, it's a quiet street with not much to report. While you may be on the lookout for cops or other pedestrians, it's unlikely that watching out for a car with a camera attached to its roof will even cross your mind.
9 Pull Up Your Pants
Unbeknownst to some, a lot of dodgy dealings and crime happens at street corners, especially outside of liquor stores. While the majority of perps either don't recognize the Google car doing its daily rounds (or simply don't care) there are a few specimens that use the opportunity to show off their inner exhibitionist. Like this pale butt we see before us, proudly sticking it to the man (or Google) by dropping his pants and flashing the camera. There are a few ways to be made immortal in life - get a portrait painted, hire an extraordinary biographer, climb Mount Everest. Clearly all of these things were either too pricey or too imaginative for this one fellow.
8 Cover Up!
Ah look, another street corner, and another welcome perp. There are two laws that have been broken in this snap - 1. Loitering. 2. Public nudity. For some reason, the lady to the left woke up one morning and decided that the idea of covering up her naked form with conventional clothes just wasn't for her. She would much rather take her morning stroll in the way that mother nature intended: in the buff. She cared enough to dress her top half but when it came to her bottom half, who knows? Maybe she got tired. Of course, there could be a third law that's being broken here, what with her being naked and standing provocatively on a street corner, but we'll have to speculate on that one.
7 What Are They Carrying?
Looking at this, it's hard not to be unsettled. These are definitely two men carrying a body wrapped up in either a rug or a blanket, on the sunny street of Stockholm back in 2014. What's their destination? Who knows. Is that person alive in there? Beats us. No, it's not a still from a horror movie but a real life crime captured by the good old Google car. Not only are the two wearing black and white outfits similar to old age prison uniforms, but they look like they're in a bit of a hurry too. It's an incriminating scene. Put on for the viewing pleasure of folks like us? Seems unlikely. This is yet another crime that goes unsolved, but well documented.
As we've previously mentioned, there are some who raise the middle finger to the Street View car, some who show their butts and some who just ignore it completely. There are also some who really, really don't like it being all up in their business. Whilst capturing the local scenery in Columbia, this unsuspecting driver was forced to retreat as he stumbled upon something suspicious. Rather than try and cover it, the perp opened fire on the car in a violent outburst that would have most people peeing their pants and running for the hills. Driving the Google car isn't a job for the fainthearted, so let's hope they get a hefty Christmas bonus. It's the least that could be done for putting their lives in danger.
5 What Is The Red?
People went wild when this picture surfaced from a solitary dock overlooking a lake in the Netherlands. What looks suspiciously like a trail of blood from the start to the end sent pulses racing and tongues wagging across the online community. When it was looked into by local police and investigators, it turned out to be nothing more than a wet dog that jumped in for an afternoon dip. The trail is just water that the dog left behind when he was walking with his owner. Even if it wasn't an atrocious murder scene caught on camera, it's a pretty good example of what can be captured from the skies. There are no secrets here - not anymore.
4 Gang Activity
A Google car was capturing images of a street in Detroit when a group of men gathered on a porch pointed their guns towards it, threatening the driver. If that wasn't enough, a few months before this image was taken, a one-year old girl’s body was found in a closet inside the home, with the family claiming it was an ‘accidental death’. Detroit is known for its crime rates, which isn't surprising when you see images like this. It might be easy to think that things are exaggerated in the movies, but there's no smoke without fire. The tragic circumstances surrounding the history of this property make this image particularly harrowing.
3 Firearm Possession
There are some things Google maps stumbles across that cross the border from being amusing to terrifying, and this is one of them. Captured on Oakley Avenue in Chicago, Illinois was this picture of a young man in his late teens/early twenties pointing what appears to be a handheld firearm at a much younger boy, as the child runs off. It's not known if it's some sort of prank, a BB gun or even a water pistol perhaps, but the picture is pretty scary. Nothing ever came of it and we'll all be left wondering what the situation was here. Did the kid see something he wasn't supposed to, or maybe his older brother is just goofing around? It's up there with one of the great mysteries of life, right next to Murphy's Law.
2 The Trunk
Exactly what is happening here? This image leaves a lot to think about. Why is there a naked guy climbing out of a trunk? Did he put himself in the trunk? Is he escaping from the trunk? Sadly, Google only ever gives us a snapshot of the scene and not the entire story - which we would all love (especially in this case). One of the more hilarious entries on this list, at least this guy is alive and seemingly well. Who knows, maybe his lover is waiting in the wings and it's all part of some particularly adventurous game we're not savvy to. Maybe he's fixing something in the boot and it's just too hot to wear clothes in such a confined space. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
1 Is This A Scene From Breaking Bad?
While this may be an aftermath, the crime was horrific. In 2009, 14-year-old Kevin Barrera was found on the grounds of a railway line that separate North Richmond from San Pablo. Kevin's body was found by a passerby the next morning, prompting a police response. What you see here is a picture that Google captured of detectives standing over the teenager's body. The image caused quite a chaos when Kevin's family came across it 4 years later. Google made the unusual move of promising to remove the image as soon as possible. Unfortunately, once something goes onto the internet, it never truly goes away. The crime was never solved, and was one of six killings in the same area within 7 months.