Google Maps Anomalies: The Rocky “Kraken” Of Antarctica

In June of 2016, intrepid Google Maps explorers found what they believed was a sea monster near Antarctica — possibly, they thought, evidence of the legendary Kraken.

According to Wikipedia, the bishop of Bergen, Norway, Erik Pontoppidan, once claimed the monstrous many-armed Kraken was so large that unsuspecting seafarers often mistook it for an island.

Its most dangerous quality, he said, was not its wild appendages or gnawing teeth, but rather the whirlpool it would leave behind as it vanished back into the sea.

Did it really exist? That’s a conversation for another day, but the Google Maps image would, at first glance, offer a solid maybe. You can check it out for yourself at the coordinates 63°02’56.7″S 60°57’32.4″W.

Unfortunately, while some may have allegedly mistaken the Kraken for an island, sometimes, it turns out, islands are mistaken for the Kraken. Or other things.

The strange anomaly — the “Kraken” — we see on Google Maps is actually Sail Rock of the South Shetland Islands, coincidentally located right near a place called Deception Island. The 30-meter-tall rock resembles a sail, and itself has confused many seafarers into thinking it was actually a ship. To the satellites, the waves splashing against the rock almost look like waves from a creature rising out of the ocean.

So, mystery solved, I guess.

Another alleged sea monster was discovered on Google Maps back in 2014, this one at Oke Bay, New Zealand. It appeared as a long, snake-like shadow in the water — but was quickly dismissed as nothing more than the wake of a tiny boat, barely visible on the satellite image.

Of course, these ordinary explanations are what you’d expect from those who’d seek to conceal the existence of sea monsters and other bizarre phenomena. Just rocks? Just wakes? Likely stories! Is there a Men In Black equivalent for mythical creatures, I wonder?


Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.