Google Maps satellite image.
Google Maps satellite image.
Courtesy of Reddit/Miller & Shellabarger

When you map the entire globe from above, you’re going to spot some things people don’t want you to see.

So when an image went viral purporting to show a Google Maps images of two people laying in freshly-dug graves, some people feared the worst.

The men are wearing identical white t-shirt and jean combos in the picture, taken from above, with enormous piles of soil next to the open plots.

But on Reddit, where the image was widely shared, some users noticed something odd about the images.

“Am I the only one who noticed there are no shovels in this photo?” one asked.

Another agreed, saying: “I find it unsettling that there are no shovels in the frame.”

Google Maps satellite image.Google Maps satellite image.

Let’s not keep the suspense going any longer.

Big reveal: It’s actually a performance art piece.

Read more:

According to the Express, the art pieces, which Dutes Miller and Stan Shellabarger created are called ‘Untitled (Graves)’ was taken by a crane with an overlay on top and shown at Western Exhibition’s art gallery in Illinois

“Dutes Miller and Stan Shellabarger each dig a grave in correlation to their individual body sizes,” said Western Exhibitions’ Principal Scott Speh to the Express. “They then lay in the grave and dig sideways so that they can hold hands eternally, metaphorically speaking.

“This iteration of the piece was completed in Portland, Oregon, as part of the Time-Based Arts Festival put on by the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art,” Speh continued.

But there is something very interesting about this work—it stems from a place of understanding mortality.

“I think as we have gotten older it comes through more prevalently just because we are dealing more with mortality in a way, Miller told Express.

Miller also touches on friendship and the idea that there would be sorrow knowing that one day you won’t be on the earth anymore, but you “have to have a really strong emotional bond” to face that reality.

“We’ve also read some Derrida and one of his ideas about friendship is that, ‘When you become friends with someone, really truly friends with them, at that point you begin mourning because you know one of you will die before the other one.’”

For more information on Dutes Miller and Stan Shellabarger’s art, check out the Western Exhibitions website here.

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