Phantom settlement

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Paper towns are settlements that appear on maps but do not actually exist. They are either accidents or copyright traps. Notable examples include Argleton, Lancashire, UK and Beatosu and Goblu, US.[1]

Agloe, New York, was invented on a 1930s map as a copyright trap. In 1950, a general store was built there and named Agloe General Store, as that was the name seen on the map. Thus the phantom settlement became a real one.[2]

There are also misnamed settlements, such as the villages of Mawdesky and Dummy 1325 in Lancashire on Google Maps.[3]

There is a humorous conspiracy theory that the German city of Bielefeld is a phantom settlement, despite the fact that it has a population of over 300,000.[4]

Paper towns can also be abandoned settlement construction sites that are no longer being built because of the owner's shortage of money.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Punt, Steve (2010) Punt PI, Series 3, Episode 1, BBC Radio Four, Aired 17 September 2010 Accessed 17 September 2010
  2. ^ Krulwich, Robert (18 March 2014). "An Imaginary Town Becomes Real, Then Not. True Story". NPR. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  3. ^ Byrne, Michael (2009) See the new villages of Mawdesky and Dummy 1325 on Google Maps, Nov 20 2009, Southport Visiter. Accessed 21 May 2014
  4. ^ Connolly, Kate (5 September 2019). "German city offers €1m for proof it doesn't exist". The Guardian.