11 Google Maps locations you’re not allowed to see – including North Korea

Google Maps has long been committed to making sure no stone is left unturned on Planet Earth.

The tool allows people to explore the world from the comfort of their own homes, looking at locations they may never actually visit in the flesh.

But there are some places that are strictly off limits – and are not visible to the site's users.

The collection of secret hotspots is a bizarre and varied list, with everything from military bases to mystery islands hidden behind a wall of dense pixels.

Here are 11 Google Maps locations that are blurred, to keep prying eyes out:

Moruroa, French Polynesia

Moruroa is a tiny coral atoll within the southern Pacific Ocean.

Though the reason behind its censoring is unclear, some theories suggest it is because of the island's history with nuclear weapons.

France played out significant nuclear testing on the atoll between 1966 and 1996 – with as many as 181 tests performed over the course of three decades.

Find it here – 21°50'14.0"S 138°54'06.6"W

2207 Seymour Avenue, Ohio

Home to multiple horrific kidnappings committed at the hands of Ariel Castro between 2002 and 2004, this residence is censored from viewing due to the atrocities it has witnessed.

Three young women were kidnapped by Castro and held captive in his home – where they remained imprisoned until May 2013.

After one of the victims escaped and raised the alarm, Castro was sentenced to life imprisonment as well as an added 1,000 year sentence, but he killed himself just a month into his time in prison.

Find it here – 41°28'21.6"N 81°41'52.7"W

A house in Stockton-on-Tees

The reasoning behind the censoring of this house remains unclear to date.

Situated on Princeport Road in Stockton-on-Tees, one resident has said: "I've been in this house since 2000 but I have no idea why you can't see it.

"If you find out it would be nice to know why."

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Find it here – 54°34'14.5"N 1°18'12.9"W

Jeanette Island, Russia

A tiny island measuring just 1.2 miles in distance, Jeanette Island is located within the East Siberian Sea.

Its surface covered mostly by ice, the most commonly believed reasoning behind its censoring is the issues surrounding whether it belongs to Russia or the USA.

Find it here – 76°47′24″N 157°58′00″E

North Korea

It should come as no shock that the most private country on the entire planet has had every inch of its land blurred by Google Maps.

You can find North Korea by simply typing the name of the nation where you will be greeted by an entire area off limits.

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Amchitka Island, Alaska

This was the main site for the majority of the USA's underground nuclear testing in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

Amchitka Island was the host of the United States' largest underground nuclear test.

Currently, it is under observation to review whether it contains any radioactive leakage – if not, it could become a limited access wildlife reserve in 2025.

Greek Military Base

Located in Athens, though it has never officially been confirmed why the view of the military base is obscured, it is most likely down to a national security matter.

Find it here – 38°01′31″N 23°42′57″E

French Nuclear Facility

The AREVA La Hague nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in France is almost entirely blurred.

Functioning since 1976, the nuclear fuel facility has faced plenty of criticism in its 45 year existence, particularly from Greenpeace – which has been calling for its closure for over two decades following claims it dumps "one million litres of liquid radioactive waste per day" into the ocean.

Find it here – 49°40′49″N 1°52′48″W

Polish Special Forces Base

Similarly to its Greek counterpart, the former home of the Dowództwo Wojsk Specjalnych – Poland's Special Forces, is blurred.

Though the Dowództwo Wojsk Specjalnych were responsible for commanding the Polish Special Forces, it is now handled by a new organisation.

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Find it here – 50°02′13″N 19°54′14″E

Patio de los Naranjos, Spain

Even though this particular area hosts nothing that could be deemed sinister or secretive, it is within the radius of government buildings – the most likely reasoning behind its censoring.

In English, its name translates to Orange Tree Yard.

Find it here – 36°50′20″N 2°28′20″W

Sandy Island, a 'phantom' isle

Undeniably the most remote location on this list, Sandy Island is "phantom island" that was first discovered by Captain James Cook in September 1774, but was eventually "undiscovered" in 1979.

The island was visible on Google Maps until 2012, when Australian scientists confirmed the island's absence.

All that is left of the island is a rise in the sea bed, notably the same shape as the original island.

Find it here – 19.22°S 159.93°E

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