Google Maps Glitches Create Disturbing Images — Artist Kyle Williams Reveals His Favorites

Some Google Maps glitches were discovered when artist Kyle Williams went looking for inspiration. What he found were some images which could elicit some interesting stories, at the very least. Missing body parts, lone body parts, and one even showing what could be photographic “evidence” of a cerberus (multi-headed dog) have been uncovered.

This extensive search was spawned when Williams went searching on Google Street Views, a popular application used to see what the area looks like without having to actually visit. The trick he used was searching for highly populated areas where Google Maps users had uploaded photos of their own. The glitch images created when Google mashed these pictures together range from amusing to disturbing.

Kyle Williams, or Keelayjams as he is known on Twitter, explained how he found these odd images.

“I was looking for record stores in France on Google Street View, just to see what they looked like from the outside and to virtually troll around the neighborhood, people watch, screen grab anything interesting that popped up. I eventually ended up on a beach in Nice and started clicking around on the little blue circles that indicated that a [360 degree] Photo Sphere was available.”

The one that Williams first found was an image where it appears a woman has a leg growing from her chest and holding her up. Also in the photo are a couple of disembodied floating heads, a body which appears to be that of someone cradling their missing head, and an umbrella in the distance which seems to be halfway buried in the rocks. Originally uploaded by Jerome Favre, the image was nicknamed “clusterf**k,” most likely because of all of the mashed up images of bodies and heads giving it an almost alien feel.

Another Google Maps glitch was found in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, though far less of a mash-up. What stands out, if you’ll pardon the pun, is a pair of disembodied yellow and blue shoes isolated from the busy crowd.

One photo uploaded by Leon Johnson has a few disturbing mismatched figures, such as two pairs of disembodied legs wearing yellow and green shorts and green shoes. However, what first grabs your eye is a man who almost seems inspired by a mutant from Futurama. Due to one of the many Google Maps glitches uncovered by Kyle Williams, the man appears to have an arm growing from the side of his face.

Two glitches from Google Maps appear to share something in common. Uploaded by Fran González and Julian Hoffbauer, both feature a man with no head. One is on a balcony of sorts with almost M.C. Escher architecture, where the headless man is ironically taking a selfie. The other is on a set of museum steps, where the headless man appears to be about to get hit by a low-flying pigeon.

Another disturbing photo, uploaded by João Faraco, is a woman who appears to be sunning herself on the beach, missing an upper torso, and taking a selfie with no arms. Yet another seems to show a woman holding two beers, who appears to be vanishing as she sits.

Artist Kyle Williams says that these images might make for some interesting paintings.

“They’re not mine. Someone else’s camera took the shots and uploaded them, maybe not even noticing that a portion of it was all tweaked out. I’m just stealing my favorite part from someone else’s picture and presenting it with others that are similar. Though having said that, I think a six foot wide oil-painted version of almost any of these would look great on a wall.”

A good collection out of Kyle’s 20 favorites can be found on Quartz in full size. What do you think of these Google Maps glitches?

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]