# Google Earth Treasure Hunt (GETH)

I'm trying to improve my code-making and puzzle-making skills by creating a new puzzle every week at my website. (Link in my profile.) The following is a copy of my latest challenge there.

I’ve spent many a night browsing through Google Earth in hope of solving Forrest Fenn's treasure hunt. I would spend hours zooming in on mountains and scrolling down rivers in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. While I never cracked the riddle, I had a blast learning about the Rocky Mountains. Google Earth’s power lies in its ability to make geography an adventure. There’s so much to learn by simply picking a land mass at random and zooming in.

That’s the impetus of my Google Earth Treasure Hunts (GETH). For my second GETH, I hope to partially recreate the fun of zooming in on mountains and scrolling down rivers while learning about geography.

First things first. This challenge uses decimal latitude and longitude coordinates (ex. 29.978763°, 31.134297°) as opposed to degrees minutes seconds (ex. 29°58’44.64″N, 31° 8’3.05″E). To get Google Earth to show decimal values, click Tools, then Options. Under the tab called “3D View,” under the heading “Show Lat/Long,” check “Decimal Degrees.”

This challenge cuts off decimal degrees after two decimal digits. Don’t round. Just cut off. So 29.978763° would be represented as to 29.97. I debated whether or not I should use rounding, but cutting off makes searching a coordinate square much simpler.

At times, I’ll ask you to add or subtract numbers to a coordinate. Let’s say the coordinates are 29.97, -6.64 and I say, “Subtract 4.45 from the longitude coordinate.” The longitude is the second of the two coordinates, -6.64. Notice that this example is a negative number. -6.64 minus 4.45 equals -11.09.

Without further ado, here’s the challenge.

1. This white plastic jungle feeds nations and can be seen from Earth’s orbit. Find it using Google Earth.
2. Zoom in on that place and find the largest body of water within it. Find the bridge crossing the middle. Take the coordinates of the center of the bridge.
3. Subtract 0.64 from latitude (the first coordinate.) Subtract 2.61 from longitude (the second coordinate.) Enter these new coordinates into the Google Earth search bar and press enter.
4. See the big rock? Find the pillars and note their namesake.
5. Convert this name into numbers where A=1, B=2, C=3, etc. Don’t put a 0 in front of single digits. (Ex. F = 6, not 06.)
6. Make new coordinates with these numbers. The third letter of the name is the latitude coordinate before the decimal. The fourth letter is the latitude coordinate after the decimal. The fifth letter is the longitude coordinate before the decimal. The sixth letter is the longitude coordinate after the decimal.
7. Now, subtract 36.22 from the latitude. Add 4.73 to the longitude.
8. Enter these new coordinates into the Google Earth search bar.
9. What do you see here? Now, find its South American rival.
10. Once located, find the nearest river and follow it downstream until it converges with another river.
11. Surrounding this point are three similar-looking monuments. Take the coordinates of the one painted green and yellow. Write them down. We’ll need them in a moment.
12. Continue following the converged river northward until you pass a bridge and an island. If you see a dam, you’ve gone too far.
13. Just after the island, search the river’s eastern coast for a large bronze deity turning his back on standing brethren. Take the coordinates of the bronze deity and write them down.
14. Now, take the latitude of the yellow/green monument. This will be our new latitude. Take the latitude of the bronze deity. This will be our new longitude.
15. Switch the +/- in the new latitude and longitude coordinates. If it’s a positive number, make it negative. If it’s negative, make it positive.
16. Subtract 3.26 from the latitude. Add 6.15 to the longitude.
17. Find the historical site within these coordinates. Where are we? Be the first to answer with the name of this place, and you win. Extra points if you can tell us step by step how you got there.

Update: I posted another Google Earth Treasure Hunt on Puzzling.Stackexchange here.

• Welcome to Puzzling.SE, great first puzzle. Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 14:29

1. This white plastic jungle feeds nations and can be seen from Earth’s orbit. Find it using Google Earth.

I saw this one in a TV show lately. I remembered that it was a huge cluster of greenhouses located somewhere in Spain. It's indeed so big, that it can be simply found by looking at the satellite image of Spain (Coordinates: 36.7533163,-2.755586).

1. Zoom in on that place and find the largest body of water within it. Find the bridge crossing the middle. Take the coordinates of the center of the bridge.
1. Subtract 0.64 from latitude (the first coordinate.) Subtract 2.61 from longitude (the second coordinate.) Enter these new coordinates into the Google Earth search bar and press enter.

Cutting off everything after the first 2 decimal digits gives the following coordinates: 36.12,-5.34.

1. See the big rock? Find the pillars and note their namesake.

The big rock is the Rock of Gibraltar, which is one of the Pillars of Hercules.

1. Convert this name into numbers where A=1, B=2, C=3, etc. Don’t put a 0 in front of single digits. (Ex. F = 6, not 06.)

H E R C U L E S
8 5 18 3 21 12 5 19

1. Make new coordinates with these numbers. The third letter of the name is the latitude coordinate before the decimal. The fourth letter is the latitude coordinate after the decimal. The fifth letter is the longitude coordinate before the decimal. The sixth letter is the longitude coordinate after the decimal.

Coordinates: 18.3,21.12

1. Now, subtract 36.22 from the latitude. Add 4.73 to the longitude.

Coordinates: -17.92,25.85

1. Enter these new coordinates into the Google Earth search bar.
1. What do you see here? Now, find its South American rival.

What we see here are the Victoria Falls. Its South American rival are the Iguazu Falls (Coordinates: -25.695260,-54.436671).

1. Once located, find the nearest river and follow it downstream until it converges with another river.
1. Surrounding this point are three similar-looking monuments. Take the coordinates of the one painted green and yellow. Write them down. We’ll need them in a moment.

The green/yellow monument is the Three Borders Landmark (Coordinates: -25.590168,-54.590223).

1. Continue following the converged river northward until you pass a bridge and an island. If you see a dam, you’ve gone too far.
1. Just after the island, search the river’s eastern coast for a large bronze deity turning his back on standing brethren. Take the coordinates of the bronze deity and write them down.

North of the island we can find a Buddha statue (Coordinates: -25.475261,-54.599114). Use Street View to take a closer look.

1. Now, take the latitude of the yellow/green monument. This will be our new latitude. Take the latitude of the bronze deity. This will be our new longitude.

Coordinates: -25.59,-25.47

1. Switch the +/- in the new latitude and longitude coordinates. If it’s a positive number, make it negative. If it’s negative, make it positive.

Coordinates: 25.59,25.47

1. Subtract 3.26 from the latitude. Add 6.15 to the longitude.
1. Find the historical site within these coordinates. Where are we? Be the first to answer with the name of this place, and you win. Extra points if you can tell us step by step how you got there.

We are near the Abu Simbel temples (Coordinates: 22.337226,31.625791).

• Congratulations, Sleafar. You got it! Excellent work! When I'm off work tonight, I'll mark my the blog version as solved also. How would you like to be credited? Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 15:56
• @TonyYoungblood You can use my nickname/profile link here if you like. Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 16:29
• Thanks, Sleafar. I'll do that. I had to do some work tasks tonight, so I'll post it tomorrow. If you feel like trying your hand at another Google Earth Treasure Hunt, there's one more on my blog at codeaweek.com Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 5:59
• Solution posted on Codeaweek.com, with credit to Sleafar as the first solver. Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 2:27