Badlands Guardian

Badlands Guardian

In Alberta, Canada there is a view that is breath taking from the ground and above. If you search for pictures of the Badlands Guardian  on google earth street view, you’ll simply see lush, rolling hills. Now, these softs hills are beautiful in their own right, but it’s whats above that’s really exciting. From above, the land feature bears a striking resemblance to a human head wearing an Aboriginal Canadian headdress.

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This “face” was caused be erosion into the clay of the land. The long line and hole starting near its “ear” (sometimes called earphones) are man-made structures, to be specific, an oil well and a road.

The head was first “discovered” in 2006 via Google Earth. It has been touted as both a “net sensation” and a “geological marvel”.

But, this obsession with finding human heads in, well, just about everything isn’t a new sensation. There’s actually a psychological phenomenon called Pareidolia, which involves a stimulus (image) wherein the mind perceives a familiar pattern (like a face) when none actually exists. One of the most famous pictures is the Satellite photo of a mesa in the Cydonia region of Mars ( The “face” of Mars). However, higher resolution photos from different perspectives “revealed” the face was simply a natural rock formation.

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Above photograph taken during the Viking Missions to Mars in the late 1970s, distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license and Wikicommons.

Feature Image from Google Maps, Earth View, screen captured by Tess Pfeifle. Map data, Digital Globe ©2015 Google

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