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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

question of the weekend: What the heck are those enormous structures China is building in the desert?

Have you seen this Google Earth image that drove the Internet insane this week?
weird structure in Chinese desert

This is in Middle of Nowhere, China. Gizmodo says:

This is crazy. New photos have appeared in Google Maps showing unidentified titanic structures in the middle of the Chinese desert. The first one is an intricate network of what appears to be huge metallic stripes. Is this a military experiment?

They seem to be wide lines drawn with some white material. Or maybe the dust have been dug by machinery.

It’s located in Dunhuang, Jiuquan, Gansu, north of the Shule River, which crosses the Tibetan Plateau to the west into the Kumtag Desert. It covers an area approximately one mile long by more than 3,000 feet wide.

The tracks are perfectly executed, and they seem to be designed to be seen from orbit.

You can see the location for yourself in Google Earth.

But this is far from the only mystery. Also nearby:

weird structure in Chinese desert

Gizmodo explains that this is:

Thousand of lines intersecting in a titanic grid that is about 18 miles long.

Again, available for your own viewing pleasure at Google Earth.

See even more Google Earth images of weird, gigantic stuff at Gizmodo.

Some people have come up with perfectly reasonable, perfectly ordinary, perfectly dull explanations, like the Chinese are doing completely routine weapons testing. Borrrr-rrrring! Where is the imagination in this? I like the commenter at Gizmodo who overlaid the weird network of metallic stripes over the road map of Washington DC near the White House and sees a resemblance. I like Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz, who wonders if it’s “a QR code for aliens.”

Now that’s some quality conspiracy shit.

What do you think? What the heck are those enormous structures China is building in the desert? Is it a transdimensional transportation device? Is it graffiti for the amusement of the aliens living under the surface of the Moon? Are the Chinese practicing terraforming for when they beat everyone else to Mars?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD/QOTW, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTW sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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