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Last Updated: Tuesday November 03 2009 13:52 GMT

Mystery town exists ONLY online

Hayley searches for a mystery town

Hayley searches for a mystery town

If you visit the town of Argleton in Lancashire, you'll find doctors, dentists and nurseries - but NOT actually a town.

That's because Argleton isn't a real town. It only exists on the website Google Maps, causing lots of confusion.

Since Argleton appeared online, lots of people and businesses who live near where it's meant to be, are now listed as being in the non-existent town.

Some people reckon it's a joke, while others think it's to stop map stealing.

A joke or a trap?

Some people reckon it could be a joke - the letters in Argleton can be rearranged to spell "Not real G" - does G stand for Google?

Argleton is near Omskirk - or is it?

Others reckon Argleton is a trap set by the people who made Google Maps.

If someone who is making another map cheats and pinches the information on Google, they would be caught out by the fact that they've included Argleton.

Google said: "While [most information] is correct there are... errors."


Roy Bayfield from nearby Edge Hill University was so baffled that he decided to walk there.

He was greeted by a gate, a field and cluster of trees but no houses, businesses or even a phone box.

Roy Bayfield
Roy Bayfield visted Argleton

"It is strange," Mr Bayfield said, "especially because chiropractors, nurseries and even dating agencies are listed under Argleton.

"Google have Argleton in their group database and various other websites use it to do their listings, that's why it's possible to see all these businesses that supposedly are based there."



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