Mystery of Google Street View's naked guy in trunk

As Street View launches in Germany, image of naked man seemingly getting out of the trunk of his car temporarily disappears. Google says it's "under review."

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Google Street View's German launch has truly been like no other.

Germany is not like Brazil, where Street View seemed to unearth more dead bodies on sidewalks than can be seen in the whole repertoire of "Law and Order."

For Germany's bodies are alive with mystery. And no mystery can surely be greater than the one that appeared and has, at least temporarily, disappeared at Zwerchgasse 39 in Mannheim, Germany.

Google Street View

The image, which was captured by the German newspaper Der Spiegel, offers a story. The only question is: What story?

It seems to show a naked man getting out of the trunk of a car. A dog is lying in the driveway, either asleep or permanently with the angels. A broken umbrella seems to be lying near the dog.

What could all this mean?

My own view is that the greatest importance lies in what is in the yellow bottle near the car. Could it be cleaning fluid? Might something suspicious have been inside the trunk of the car? Might the man have been cleaning it out? Might he have been cleaning out a dead body? A dead body of a dog, perhaps?

If it isn't cleaning fluid, what is it? Might it have been used to poison the dog or at least to send it to sleep while its owner bravely removed a dead body from the trunk in the full joy of daylight?

The intrigue here seems endless. Might he not be naked at all? There is a chance that somewhere in there resides some shorts about his person. Might he himself have been kidnapped and shoved in that trunk, with the assailants scarpering when they saw the might of the Street View car turn the corner?

On the other hand, could this all have been staged by another German with a sense of the absurd? While almost 3 percent of Germans decided to blur out their properties on Street View, others, at least to my wicked sentiment, decided to have fun with the whole escapade.

First, there was the tenant who happened to enjoy the same office building as Google in Munich. This tenant requested that the building should be blurred. Which meant that Google had to comply with blurring its own offices.

Might this seemingly naked man in the trunk of a soft-top have a soft spot for amusing the world with an unsolvable tale of intrigue?

Google has removed this shot and says on the Street View site that it is "under review."

So one waits with cross-legged anticipation to find out whether something exciting, dangerous, or possibly even criminal might have been happening here. Or whether this was really just a (possibly) naked guy cleaning the junk in his trunk.