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Andy Nguyen
By Andy Nguyen August 23, 2022

No, this video doesn’t show a Google Street View of Antarctica with a tree-lined landscape

If Your Time is short

  • Satellite images of Antarctica show the continent covered in snow with no patches of green landscape anywhere.

A secret is lurking on the surface of Antarctica, and the only way to uncover it is by accessing Google's Street View feature, according to a recent Facebook video.

The video originally came from TikTok and features a user reacting to another video of a woman looking at a map of Antarctica on Google.

"So for Antarctica to be completely covered in ice, that’s what we’ve been taught all my life, why, when you go on Google Maps, does it show this," the woman says as the video switches from a map view of the icy continent to a street view showing a green, tree-lined landscape with buildings.

"Now, I know I smoke a lot of weed, but this s--- ain’t adding up," the woman says. "I mean, where’s the snow?"

The woman urges viewers to go on Google and check out the street view for themselves. But the terrain featured in the video isn’t actually in Antarctica.

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Conspiracy theories related to the continent are not new. PolitiFact has checked false claims that Antarctica contained a secret entrance to a hidden world inside the Earth, that it had ancient pyramids and that it’s not a real continent.

We attempted to recreate what was shown in the video by using the Google Earth phone application and Google Maps on a web browser to visit the coordinates in Antarctica used by the woman. There was no Street View option available for the area, and the only images associated with the coordinates showed people standing in snow.

Featured Fact-check

A closer look of the landscape revealed it did not come directly from Google but rather from a person using the company's Photo Sphere feature, which allows anyone to create and upload a 360-degree image to Street View to a location of their choosing

Google did not respond to PolitiFact’s request for comment about the company’s Photo Sphere feature and the TikTok video.

We ran a screenshot of the video through a Google reverse image search, which revealed it’s actually of a college campus in Jabalpur, India — about 7,354 miles from Antarctica.

Using a satellite image of the area, we were able to match several landmarks and buildings featured in the video with those on the Jabalpur campus. 

Despite trees and shrubs being unable to grow in Antarctica, the continent is home to two types of plants — the Antarctic hair grass and Antarctic pearlwort. Even so, detailed satellite images show that Antarctica remains covered in snow, with no large patches of green in sight.

Our ruling

A Facebook user shared a video from TikTok showing a woman accessing a map of Antarctica on Google. The woman shows what she claims is a Street View of the continent featuring a green, tree-lined landscape instead of snow.

There is no Street View feature available on Antarctica showing a similar landscape, and the image featured in the video was submitted by a user on Google and not by the company itself.

A reverse image search revealed the landscape is actually of a college campus in India.

We rate this False.

Our Sources

Facebook post, Aug. 21, 2022

TikTok video, Aug. 16, 2022

TikTok video, July 27, 2022

PolitiFact, "Fact-checking the ‘hollow earth’ conspiracy theory," July 26, 2022

PolitiFact, "No, Marines aren’t investigating Antarctica pyramids," April 27, 2022

PolitiFact, "Yes, Antarctica is a continent," July 19, 2022

Google Maps, 76°37'32.0"S 5°30'28.0"W, accessed Aug. 22, 2022

Google, Create or import Photo Spheres, accessed Aug. 22, 2022

Google, Publish & connect 360 photos with the Street View app, accessed Aug. 22, 2022

Screenshot of TikTok video, Aug. 22, 2022

Google, reverse image search results, Aug. 22, 2022

Google Maps, satellite image, accessed Aug. 22, 2022

U.S. Geological Survey, Landsat Image Mosaic Of Antarctica, accessed Aug. 22, 2022

British Antarctic Survey, Plants, accessed Aug. 22, 2022

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More by Andy Nguyen

No, this video doesn’t show a Google Street View of Antarctica with a tree-lined landscape

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