No 'Kidd'-ing: Google Maps invites users to join global treasure hunt

No really... did Google launch a competition among all its departments to see who would come up with the best April Fool's joke?

First we had YouTube announcing that its entire service was an eight-year-old competition designed to pick the 'best' video, and then we had Google announcing a brand new feature called 'Google nose' that would reportedly allow users to 'smell' certain search features.

Screengrab from the video

Screengrab from the video

And it turns out that Google Maps was also in on the act, releasing a video which calls upon users to come together and solve the mystery of pirate captain William Kidd's buried treasure. We kidd you not. (Ok we couldn't resist it)

The video begins with a short clip of some intrepid Google street view explorers 'off the coast of Madagascar' in September 2012, finding a treasure chest that contains the treasure maps.

However according to Mike Pegg- marketing manager, Google maps, it contains some "encrypted symbols and codes" which they are trying to decipher through crowd sourcing.

Apparently the maps team is in the process of digitizing the maps, and want people to help read them. But its not as easy as just piecing clues. Apparently some parts of the map need exposure to sunlight, and others need heat applied to them (demonstrated by a woman casually holding her laptop over an open stove)

Turns out that Captain Kidd was a tech savvy pirate who was way ahead of his time.

There is also quite a funny 'space jump' parody on the video - featuring someone who is trying to 'perfectly align' his map with real life geography in order to see the tell tale 'X' which marks the spot of the treasure.

Which is your favourite Google prank from today? Or were they all too ridiculous to believe?

Watch the video below:

Published Date: Apr 02, 2013 10:40 am | Updated Date: Apr 02, 2013 10:45 am

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