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Google Street View captures dead bodies--real ones

The launch of Google Street View in Brazil reveals images of not one, but two dead bodies lying in different streets. Google removes the images.

Whenever Google sends its Street View cameras to a new country, there is always more revealed than was anticipated.

And so is the case with the launch of Google Street View in Brazil.

Just a day after the service launched, up popped a couple of corpses. One, on the Avenida Presidente Vargas in Rio, the other in Belo Horizonte.

The images, which first reportedly surfaced on Gizmodo Brazil are disturbing because of their apparent normality. They are not in deserted areas, but in places where people and cars can be seen, places where city life just goes on.

Google moved swiftly to remove the images, here for the Rio body and here for Belo Horizonte, leaving just a blank screen.

Google Street View cars being readied for action in Sao Paulo, Brazil. CC Racum/Flickr

While the Brazilian Street View launch Thursday also gave members of Tumblr the opportunity to offer their own discoveries, a little more amusing, such as passers-by reacting to the Street View cameras, one can imagine that the revelation of corpses captured imaginations rather more.

The tech section of Brazilian site, G1, which has a close-up of one of the images if you're in the mood for that, also reported that Google has asked anyone who finds disturbing images to contact the company immediately by clicking on the "report a problem" link.

Should you feel affection for statistics, Brazil's intentional homicide rate, while decreasing slightly over the last 10 years, is still put at around five times that of the U.S. (Which is itself around five times greater than, say, Italy.) One can only wonder whether the Street View camera car driver even noticed the bodies or whether it seemed to him or her like a normal scene.

These Brazilian images offer something of a difficult contrast with the recent case of 10-year-old Azeera Beebeejaun, who was captured by Street View cameras merely pretending to be dead.