(Screengrab Google Earth)

Malcolm Moore at the Telegraph writes, “All of the sites are on the borders of Gansu province and Xinjiang, some less than 100 miles from Jiuquan, the headquarters of China’s space programme and the location of its launch pads.”

Speculation as to what the buildings are ran from water purification plants to weapons testing sites to training facilities. In one Google Earth closeup there is debris scattered in a systematic way, possibly suggesting a weapons training facility. In another closeup, there appear to be large manmade bodies of water.

Scanning Google Earth and Google Street View has become a popular and obsessive pastime for some Internet denizens, who enjoy discovering crop circles, Chinese pyramids, and smiling faces on top of water towers, previously only known to the random pilot passing by.