Is that a body lying face down in an English gutter on Google Maps? Yes, it absolutely is -- and the unintentional prank caused a ruckus when neighbors noticed it.
While browsing their neighborhood on Google Maps, residents of Worcester in western England discovered a disturbing image -- which appeared for all the world to be a dead body dumped on the side of the road. The distressed citizens instantly panicked and called they police.
Fortunately, the entire event has been revealed as a prank unintentionally pulled by a 9-year-old on her friend, she explained to a London paper.
And Azura Beebeejaun, now 10, found the entire event surprising and amusing:
"I didn't know anything about the Google Street View car," she told the Daily Mail. "I fell over while I was playing with my friend and thought it would be funny to play dead. I heard a car go past me but had no idea I was having my picture taken, I was just playing a joke on my friend."
'It is quite funny and I can't wait to tell my classmates when I go back to school," she added.
The images remain on Google Maps, and will until someone asks for them to be removed or Google updates its imagery. To see the grisly stunt, visit Google Maps, click the street view button, and pan around in the image.
Saira Beebeejaun, the girl's mother, said she was baffled that her playful daughter has caused such a fuss among her neighbors.
She added: "I can see how people may have thought it looks like a corpse. My daughter must have been playing around or pretending to be dead."
"I wish she was that quiet all the time. A couple of people on the road have mentioned to me a few weeks ago that they had seen a picture of a girl lying on the floor on our street. I assumed it was my daughter because she is always playing around on the pavement."
"But I didn't really think any more of it than that."
A spokeswoman for Google said the company could not comment on individual images, but explained that people could remove pictures they aren't happy with.
“The imagery in Street View represents a snapshot in time of Britain’s streets and is no different to what anyone might expect to see for themselves around the country,” she said.
“Sometimes that means our cars inadvertently capture odd or inappropriate moments as they drive past. This is why we have put in place tools so that if people see what they believe to be inappropriate, they can report them to us using the simple reporting tool and the images will be quickly removed or further blurring applied,” she added.