There are a number of islands in the South China Sea that don't have names on Google Maps. There's a list of islands here but this is like searching for a needle in a haystack.

I also found another satellite picture from Microsoft, but it was too blurry.

I was hoping somebody could identify the island or at least tell me the purpose of it. There are what look like lighthouses, two fields, a helipad, and some other unusual spherical landmarks.

mysterious island

  • The satellite photo you linked to ("from Microsoft") does not look like the image above. Are you sure it's the same place? – RockPaperLz- Mask it or Casket Jul 19 at 8:26
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    Are intel agencies now outsourcing their IMINT work to Stack Exchange? :-D – Rodrigo de Azevedo Jul 19 at 9:53
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    @RockPaperLz-MaskitorCasket Zoom out in the Google Maps pic, the island is on a coral reef. The Microsoft picture is from before there was an island there. – gszavae Jul 20 at 8:30
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    What the heck is the crop they are growing there ? Does anyone know? – Fattie Jul 20 at 13:19
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    @gszavae Your recommendation resulted in success. Thank you! – RockPaperLz- Mask it or Casket Jul 20 at 17:34

This is called Cuarteron Reef in English.

It is one of several reefs in the South China Sea that were enlarged and built up around 2015-2016 as part of a land reclamation project by the People's Republic of China. The structures are apparently of a military nature, including radars and possibly missiles.

The land is also claimed by Taiwan and the Philippines.

It seems unlikely to be a good travel destination at this time.

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    Wow that was quick! Thanks. I wasn't thinking of travelling there but I wasn't sure where else to ask. – zeroPercent Jul 18 at 17:23
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    It seems unlikely to be a good travel destination at this time. 😂 – briantist Jul 19 at 15:45
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    It seems unlikely to be a good travel destination at this time — unless OP is tasked with the logistics of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) (in which case they may have lost their job by now). – gerrit Jul 19 at 20:19
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    "It seems unlikely to be a good travel destination at this time." -- Nah, I bet there is no Coronavirus – hola Jul 21 at 16:36

As a more generic solution, try using Google reverse image search, e.g. in Chrome:

enter image description here


enter image description here

If using a web browser other than Google Chrome, go to https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch and click on the camera icon:

enter image description here

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    I reverse searched the screenshot you posted about reverse image search, and the result was "screenshot".. smart enough! – Nean Der Thal Jul 20 at 15:46
  • @NeanDerThal 2020-07-20: AI has gained self-consciousness. – Franck Dernoncourt Jul 20 at 15:48
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    everything is possible in 2020.. – Nean Der Thal Jul 20 at 15:48
  • Here I thought that "Let Me Google This For You" answers weren't allowed. ;) – nick012000 Jul 21 at 11:42
  • @nick012000 Travel.SE rule #1: don't apply rules consistently – Franck Dernoncourt Jul 21 at 16:40

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