Orbital View: Fools From Above

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

A quick skim of our favorite satellite and space Instagram accounts revealed some out-of-the-ordinary sights:

From Daily Overview’s caption:

We think we’ve spotted something unusual on the surface of Loch Ness in Scotland. The lake extends for approximately 23 miles (37 km) and is well-known as the possible home to “Nessie” - reportedly a massive sea monster resembling a plesiosaur. While water visibility is exceptionally low at the lake because of high peat content in the surrounding soil, our Overview perspective does not suffer from the same limitations and picked up this figure in imagery from 2014.

Hmmm. And over in Nevada, are those what I think they are?

Groom Lake, Nevada, more commonly known as Area 51

A photo posted by Planet Labs (@planetlabs) on

April Fools jokes or signs of something darker? You be the judge.

(See all Orbital Views here)