Stig, Stig, wherefore art thou Stig?

Friday, 16th April 2010 by

BBC TV’s Top Gear programme features a famously mysterious racing driver known only as “The Stig“, who (ironically for someone so secretive about their identity) can be found in numerous places on Google Street View.

More bizarre however are Google’s efforts to remove all traces of him!

When Google first launched UK Street View, we were delighted to find a photo of the The Stig apparently hanging out at the BBC. We were a little crushed upon discovery that is simply a cardboard cutout of the famously reclusive driver.

Then, when Street View visited the roads around Loch Ness, the actual honest-to-goodness real Stig was found!

Clearly he had been waiting there for the Google car – but why? Whatever the reason, Google didn’t like it; within a few days the Stig’s entire personage had been pixellated beyond recognition (clearly blurring his face wasn’t going to be very effective).

If we revisit the banks of Loch Ness today we find that Google has since gone even further, and has completely removed the section of imagery in which the blurry Stig appeared.

But the Stig cannot be silenced! (Well metaphorically, seeing as how he doesn’t talk).

Just yesterday Google launched new Trike-captured imagery of Windsor’s Legoland theme park – and waiting behind a Lego model of London – it’s Street View Stig!

Clearly he wasn’t happy with his on-camera performance – because elsewhere we find him sitting atop a Lego Camel (not going anywhere very fast), and posing in front of a huge statue.

Already these images are being blurred out very soon after they are discovered – but why is the Stig so desperate to be seen, and why are Google so determined to make sure he isn’t?

The most important question of all however, is how does Stig know where the Street View camera is going to be?1

Update: Google Maps Mania also found the Stig in his natural habitat – driving a racing car (although normally they aren’t made of Lego).

  1. I’d love to know, as despite my best efforts I’ve never managed to get on.