Unnaturally tall, mysterious, obelisk-like buildings are inherently freaky. Especially when they’re in video games. Think of the Oldest House in Control, that mystery box of anomalies contained within one large and brutalist city skyscraper. Now, imagine if such a structure appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, in your very real city. You’d be spooked, right?
Well, Australians playing around with the new version of Microsoft Flight Simulator got a strange surprise in the form of a 212-story building smack in the middle of Melbourne. A building that doesn’t actually exist, even though the simulator uses real maps. What the hell?
Players were rightfully confused by the puzzling appearance of this building. There’s not actually a giant skyscraper in this part of Melbourne. In fact, the building at this particular address is only two stories tall. So what happened?
Microsoft Flight Simulator pulls its data from Bing Maps, so any anomalies that appear there made it into the program. In this case, a university student named Nathan Wright made an edit to OpenStreetMap data as part of his university degree last year, and accidentally typed “212” instead of “2” when creating the actual two-story building at the Melbourne location.
“I think it’s so funny as it was the first time I was using OpenStreetMap,” Wright told The Verge. “I was using it for a university task and had to add data for class. I didn’t think I would have to see it again.”
The typo made its way over to Bing Maps and the rest is history. And it isn’t the only glitch in the simulator. Users also found Buckingham Palace transformed into office buildings, strange rocks in place of palm trees, and more bizarro bugs that make the world of Microsoft Flight Simulator a freakish interpretation of our reality. But hey, it’s 2020, where things are pretty freakish anyway. Maybe the simulator is onto something.
Featured Image: vidarCRC