Sharp-eyed conspiracy theorists claim to have spotted a secret ‘military base’ in the middle of the Gobi desert.
The circular formation of buildings, which has been likened to the shape of Stonehenge, was spotted between Kathmandu in Nepal and Mongolia on Google Maps.
The site has been branded ‘China‘s Area 51’ by some wayward conspiracy theorists, while others have speculated it could be a huge circular array of solar panels or a secretive military base.
The site is less than 100 miles (160km) from Jiuquan, where China’s space programme headquarters and launch pads can be found, suggesting may have a military purpose.
MailOnline has contacted military experts to find out if they know the function of the structure.
This is not the first time a Google Maps satellite has photographed such structures during a sweep of the vast desert, which have subsequently sparked a number of strange theories around what they could be.
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Sharp-eyed conspiracy theorists claim to have spotted a secret ‘military base’ in the middle of the the Gobi desert. The strange circular formation, which has been likened to the Stonehenge, was spotted between Kathmandu in Nepal and Mongolia using Google Maps
Conspiracy theorists Blake and Brett Cousins, who run the popular YouTube channel ‘thirdphaseofthemoon’, believe the circular site is a ‘runway for extraterrestrials’.
According to the video creators, three aircrafts are clearly stationed in the middle of the circular base, with trucks and control towers also stationed around the site.
‘Three airlines within the circular formation of rocks and buildings, I’m not entirely sure what I’m looking at,’ the Cousins brothers wrote. ‘It almost looks like Stonehenge from this aerial view’.
The Cousins brothers also suggested it could be ‘an area 51 for China’.
Readers flooded the controversial post with their own opinions about exactly what caused the formation.
‘Maybe it’s a huge solar panel for under ground living,’ wrote YouTube user ‘Jolene N’.
A user called ‘Steve’ said that it ‘looks like a old military base’.
‘Stop with the hype, it’s a test rang for reconnaissance aircraft, their cameras and targeting equipment,’ wrote another YouTube user who comments under the name ‘joshreynolds72’. (sic)
WHAT MAKES SOMEONE BELIEVE IN CONSPIRACY THEORIES?
Over the course of three online-based studies, researchers at the University of Kent showed strong links between the belief in conspiracy theories and certain psychological traits.
Narcissism and self-esteem levels have a large impact on a persons belief in conspiracy theories.
The results showed that people who rated highly on the narcissism scale and who had low self-esteem were more likely to be conspiracy believers.
However, while low self-esteem, narcissism and belief in conspiracies are strongly linked, it is not clear that one – or a combination – causes the other.
But it hints at an interesting new angle to the world of conspiracy and those who reinforce belief.
There are widely believed to be three main reasons as to why people believe in conspiracy theories.
- The desire for understanding and certainty – Seeking explanations for events is a natural human desire.
- The desire for control and security – Conspiracy theories can give their believers a sense of control and security.
- The desire to maintain a positive self-image – People who feel socially marginalised are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories and it gives them a sense of worth in the UFO community.
These three things tie in with the previously stated qualities and combine to create an avid conspiracy theorist.
This is not the first time strange formations have been spotted in the Gobi desert.
Previously, a set of strange shapes were spotted in a similar area on the borders of Gansu province and Xinjiang in northwestern China.
The internet was buzzing with theories about what their purpose was, with suggestions ranging from giant QR readers to practise targets for military satellites.
Unidentified: One bizarre structure (pictured) was spotted by a Google Maps satellite on the borders of Gansu province and Xinjiang. The internet was buzzing with theories about what their purpose was, with suggestions ranging from giant QR readers to practise targets for military satellites
Some internet users have been trying to overlay one of the strange structures on to various U.S. city maps, worried that there may be a sinister military purpose behind them.
Others have pointed out that if China wanted to attack a US city, it doesn’t need a practise map in the desert.
It is also difficult to tell what the structures are made of – whether they are painted on or dug into the landscape.
Speculation: Some internet users have been overlaying the strange structures over maps of US cities while a closer view shows burnt out vehicles (right) which have raised questions about whether the desert has been used for military purposes
Close-up: Experts say that the most likely explanation is that the clearest of the symbols are used as ‘calibration’ for spy satellites – a common practice for superpowers such as China