A new Easter egg in Google Maps was discovered earlier this week, with one user of the popular navigation tool recently taking to Reddit to share a screenshot of their discovery – a UFO in Area 51, a famously mysterious branch of the Edwards Air Force Base located within the Nevada Test and Training Range of the United States Air Force. Limited testing reveals that the flying saucer is actually an alternative skin for the Street View icon that users can usually drag around the map and place it wherever they want to "land," i.e. activate the service's integrated Street View feature and take a closer look at any given area. It's currently unclear when exactly did the Alphabet-owned company implement this particular Easter egg into its service, but the UFO likely appeared at some point in the last few months or it would have probably been discovered sooner given the sheer size of the Google Maps user base.
A somewhat similar Easter egg can also be observed when inspecting the Buckingham Palace in London, England, wherein the Street View's "Pegman" will turn into an avatar of the Queen Elizabeth II herself. Refer to the gallery below to see how both Easter eggs look in practice. The Mountain View, California-based tech giant likely implemented a number of similar Google Maps references in other areas of the world, though the company traditionally doesn't publicize the humorous secrets hidden within its products and leaves them for users to find. Another recently uncovered Easter egg found within one of Google's creation was spotted just earlier this week, shortly after Google released the fourth and final Developer Preview of Android O. The Internet firm hid a relatively indifferent octopus into the latest experimental build of its operating system and jokingly implied that Android 8.0 will bear the moniker "Octopus," though that isn't likely to happen.
As for Google Maps, the navigation service is expected to undergo some major changes in the near future, with Alphabet recently implying that it will soon take certain steps to start monetizing the platform more efficiently. While traditional ads remain an option, the tech giant is currently also looking into alternative means of earning money through Google Maps such as featuring sponsored locations.