Can you help me identify a strange object on the map, which I saw during my recent flight from Frankfurt to Mumbai?

It seems to be in Turkey, however I can't give you nothing more closer or more precise than the more or less exact position of the plane, that I have obtained from the flight information system:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

It was around three hours and ten minutes since departing Frankfurt, if that matters, so around 2715 km straight line from Frankfurt.

Is there really "something" like that (a flat, quite long strip of land on top of some hill) in that part of the world? Or is it just a Google Earth / Lufthansa Flight Map error, that I mistakenly taken as some kind of object?

  • 2
    This is the closest view in google maps, there is nothing... The are is full with mountains, there's no way to find something rectangular on to the mountains.. don't think so. – Nean Der Thal Mar 15 '16 at 19:00
  • 2
    Or; is this how they censor stuff on flight information maps?? – Nean Der Thal Mar 15 '16 at 19:07
  • 2
    I would guess it's missing a texture tile. The strip is probably aligned exactly East-West. Whether that's just an error or the information was removed on purpose is another matter, but there doesn't seem to be anything interesting (and definitely not something that would be visible at this scale) in that location. – jcaron Mar 17 '16 at 8:22

I looked up the region on Google Earth and it seems to be the region roughly depicted on the picture below. I am not 100% convinced it is this patch, but it should be in the vicinity there given some topographic details.

Google Earth picture of the region

There doesn't seem anything much there besides mountains, there's also very few roads and the like. You can have a look at pictures people took around that area on Panoramio.

Now there's no permanent structure of this sort there, as it's not visible on Google Earth. Given the terrain, it's also very unlikely that such a structure ever existed (as mentioned in the comments). I think it's much more likely that this is either a processing error or that it has been blanked out intentionally. Some governments require that satellite pictures obscure areas where there is sensitive (mostly military) equipment. It is a bit puzzling though, that this happened on a Lufthansa flight, afaik such requirements usually only apply for local companies.


There are some geometric crop fields that appear to be fallow in google maps. Perhaps opium poppies.

enter image description here

This area here, perhaps:

enter image description here

I'm not totally convinced, the white area in the map is conformal to the terrain but looks a bit too regular to be believable.


There's nothing like that in that general area, according to Google Maps, so I must conclude that it's an artifact of the software.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.