Google Maps is a helpful tool for navigating your way around the globe. Whether planning a road trip with friends or learning a new shortcut to work, the handy technology is there to guide users. Its street view function is especially useful if you are keen to explore new places up close. However, some users have found another use for this function, allowing them to get a street-side look at some mysterious and bizarre places around the world.
One, in particular, is a village in the Iya Valley of Shikoku in Japan.
An eagle-eyed user came across a weird sighting in the village of Nagoro and posted it to a Reddit forum dedicated to creepy places found the Google web app.
Users can glide through the villages rounds, surrounded by rich foliage and greenery.
While most of the scene seems fairly normal – homes, shop fronts and even some lanterns to brighten up the scene.
However, the further into the village you go, something eerie begins to appear.
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They wrote: “A lady builds a dummy to represent every person who dies in the village.”
That means every doll is a surviving replica of a dead resident.
An article by Fast Company also reveals some additional information about why these dolls seem to have taken over the tiny settlement.
With just 37 people living in the village, one resident was feeling lonely and came up with her own, unique ritual for remembering those who had passed on.
Ayano Tsukimi sews a new life-sized doll, complete with the person’s likeness, each time someone dies.
According to the article, the town is now filled with 350 of her creations – that is 313 more dolls than people
In a short documentary about the village, shot by photographer Fritz Schumann, the doll designer said: “When I make dolls of dead people, I think about them when they were alive and healthy.
“The dolls are like my children.”
Reddit users flocked to the thread to share their opinions on this somewhat spooky finding.
One user shared their experience with the Nagoro dolls: “My ex GF’s has been to that village. The lady who builds the dolls always places them at night. She has a niece that watches after her who claims she doesn’t leave the house at night and it can’t be her placing the dolls.
“She builds dolls all day and puts a lot of time into them but nobody has ever seen her move one. Some people swear she starts building the dolls for people before they actually pass.”
While another wrote: “That’s definitely the creepiest thing in this thread.“
However, one user saw the sentimental side of things, saying: “That’s actually quite sweet. Although yes, if you came across that and didn’t know what it was it would probably creep you out.”
A similar scene was spotted in Finland, though this time it is an entire field filled with very human-like scarecrows.
The rows and rows of scarecrows are clad in human clothing.
Their purpose is not to keep birds away from crops, however, instead, they are an art installation.
Dubbed the Silent People, they are the work of artist Reijo Kela.
The scarecrows are made up of peat heads covered in straw hair and wooden bodies.