I have to write this post because it’s rare that Google gets outsmarted, so I’m going to enjoy it.
Checking my Google Analytics the other day, I noticed something bizarre. On Friday, I got 970 hits from people doing a Google search for “Lost Springs Wyoming speed limit.”
I’ve written about Lost Springs before – it was a town famous for having an official population of 1.
For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why people were searching for this, and then I found the Google A Day Puzzle on wired.com.
The Google A Day Puzzle
On Friday, the puzzle people asked, “You are standing in the farthest west U.S. town with a population of one person. What is the speed limit?,” which sent thousands of trivia geeks searching for the solution.
On Saturday, they revealed the correct answer: Lost Springs, Wyoming, with a speed limit of 30 mph.
Here’s the funny thing, though: Both parts of that answer are wrong.
The truth about Lost Springs
As I reported last month, Lost Springs no longer has a population of one, now that the new census figures have been released. In fact, only one American town does – Monowi, Nebraska. So Monowi should be the correct answer. (I’m not sure what the speed limit of Monowi is, but apparently you can find it on Google Maps.)
Not only that, but even if Lost Springs was the correct response, the speed limit of that town is not 30 – it’s 40. I know because I saw the sign with my own eyes last summer. And I took a picture:
You can tell that the 4 in the sign was clearly painted over something else. I’m guessing the speed limit used to be 30, but at some point it was changed to 40 – meaning that Google street maps now has outdated information.
(I took the picture only because I thought it was odd that a winding, gravel road would have such a high speed limit. They’re daredevils in that town!)
Pardon me for a moment while I enjoy being smarter than Google, if only with regard to some minor piece of trivia.
Further proof that you can’t always trust what you read online – even if it comes from Google!