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Explainer: The craziest Google Street View moments

  • Image: a van on fire, from Google Street View
    Google
    A shot of a van on fire, taken by a Google Street View vehicle recording data in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    Embarrassing moments, unexplained car crashes, and crazy stunts. You never know what the Google Street View team is going to capture on camera next — including a young girl playing dead in a British street. Since its launch in 2007, Google Street View has given us freeze-frames of life around the world — the mundane, the funny, the strange and of course the disastrous.

    Though Google is still embroiled in a data-collection dispute with several countries, its Street View teams roll on, snapping pictures in neighborhoods like yours.

  • Ouch!

    Image: Image from Google Street View
    Courtesy of PCWorld

    That had to have hurt. This school girl in Santa Catarina, Nuevo León, Mexico wipes out in front of her friends and in front of a Google Street View camera.

    View it for yourself in Google Maps.

  • He lived to tell the tale

    Image: Image from Google Street View
    Courtesy of PCWorld

    A driver in Pesaro, Marche, Italy, nurses his wounds after a moped accident.

    View it yourself in Google Street Views.

  • Wipeout!

    Image: Image from Google Street View
    Courtesy of PCWorld

    The moped wasn't as lucky as the driver.

  • One person's big day, another's disaster

    Image: Image from Google Street View
    Courtesy of PCWorld

    The carriage ride is a dream come true for this real-life princess on her way to meet Prince Charming. Unless, of course, you happen to be one of the cars stuck in the traffic jam behind her in South Bucks, England, United Kingdom.

    View it for yourself in Google Maps.

  • Uh, Harold, there's something in the driveway you need to see

    Image: Image from Google Street View
    Courtesy of PCWorld

    Hopefully the owner of this van has insurance, and hopefully someone in this tree-lined neighborhood in Toronto, Ontario, Canada has called the fire department.

    View it for yourself in Google Maps.

  • Who's microwaving popcorn this time?

    Image: Image from Google Street View
    Courtesy of PCWorld

    As long as we're on the subject of fire, chaos — and shirtlessness — ensue as a smoke pours down a driveway on Water Street in Saint Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

    View it for yourself in Google Maps.

  • I know it's a double-yellow line, but ...

    Image: Image from Google Street View
    Courtesy of PCWorld

    The landscape in Central Shasta, Calif., where this shot was taken looks peaceful enough, but you still wouldn't want to leave your SUV parked sideways on it. One thing is for sure: The driver isn't going to go far on that front left tire.

    (No longer available in Google Maps.)

  • Charming ranch with a view?

    Image: Image from Google Street View
    Courtesy of PCWorld

    A lot of homebuyers use Google Street View to scope out neighborhoods where they might want to settle down. This dilapidated house located in the Turtle Mountain region of Manitoba, Canada flies straight past fixer-upper status and right into disaster territory.

    View it for yourself in Google Maps.

  • Wrong lane

    Image: Image from Google Street View
    Courtesy of PCWorld

    Could a tow truck that small really hoist a ditch-bound big rig back onto the road? This image was captured near the Sabancuy Estuary, Campeche, Mexico.

    View it for yourself in Google Maps.

  • You first

    Image: Image from Google Street View
    Courtesy of PCWorld

    What happens when four street luge racers in Hout Bay, Western Cape, South Africa encounter whatever lies at the bottom of that winding road? We don't want to know.

    View it for yourself in Google Maps.

  • Hate it when this happens

    Image: Image from Google Street View
    Courtesy of PCWorld

    We've all suffered accidental spills from a water bottle, just as this walker in Rotterdam, Netherlands, did. But we haven't all had our accident chronicled by Google Street View. (Or if you have, you're hoping we don't find it.)

    View it for yourself in Google Maps.

  • Overturned on the flattest road in Utah

    Image: Image from Google Street View
    Courtesy of PCWorld

    According to the "10 Most Confusing Accidents" on car enthusiast site Jalopnik, this truck overturned in Provo, Utah. Whether the cause of the accident was a patch of ice, a sudden fierce wind, or an oncoming vehicle, we'll never know.

  • The "king" is soused

    Image: Image from Google Street View
    Courtesy of PCWorld

    One might assume that all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't awaken His Royal Highness after a few too many beers in Eden, England, United Kingdom.

    View it for yourself in Google Maps.

  • Zut Alors! (Translation: Gosh darn it!)

    Image: Image from Google Street Maps
    Courtesy of PCWorld

    According to the "10 Most Confusing Accidents" on car enthusiast site Jalopnik, a smashed-up car brings out nine cops in Roncq, Nord, France. When you look at the crash site live on Boulevard d'Halluin in Google Maps, however, the authorities have since disappeared (click the right directional arrow three times to see the unlucky car).

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