The Story of the Russian Island Hidden in Google’s Maps

Google shows Jeanette Island, which is on the north coast of Russia and now considered a Russian island, as a black dot on Google Earth. So what’s the story behind this strange Google censorship?

Google not only provides users with a very useful navigation service with its Maps application, but also allows users to explore geographic areas where they cannot physically go with the Earth application. In fact, Google Earth offers such an expansive “Earth” that many details that have not actually been discovered can be revealed for the first time in Google Earth.

However, there are details that Google Earth hides just as well as it reveals. Jeanette Island, an “eventful” island off the coast of Russia, is one of the details hidden by Google Earth. Google Earth users only see Jeanette Island from afar as a black spot. So why?

Jeanette Island looks like a black spot from afar on Google Earth
In fact, there is no official explanation as to why Google is hiding Jeanette Island. However, there is a consistent theory that many people accept. Before we proceed with the island’s story, to mention its geography, Jeanette Island is a small island on the north coast of Russia, with an area of ​​only 3.3 square kilometers and a height of 351 meters at its peak.

Both the American and Russian Empires claimed on Jeanette Island

US naval officer and explorer George E. De Long discovered Jeanette Island by accident during an expedition in 1881, and the US Navy declared the island US territory in 1882. After the Imperial Russian Hydrographic Expedition to the Arctic Ocean of 1910-1915 Ambassador in London claimed that Jeanette Island, like the other Arctic islands, was part of the Russian Empire.

Real bird’s eye view of Jeanette Island

The Soviet Union, which was established afterwards, also continued to claim that Jeanette Island was Russian territory. “So what’s the situation on the island today?” If you ask; Currently, Jeanette Island is considered the territory of the Sakha Republic of the Russian Federation and there is a Russian military base on the island.

Although the island is officially under Russian rule, even today some Americans continue to argue that the island is actually an American territory. The theory about Google Earth stems precisely from this ambiguity. According to the theory, Google prefers to depict the island as a black spot, as the discussion is ongoing about which country the island belongs to.

Note: When you get close enough to Jeanette Island in Google Earth, you will see a clear “view” of the island as shown in the image above. However, it is clear that this image is not really of Jeanette Island as even the coastline of the island is not clear and has been blackened from the top.

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