FACT CHECK: Does SpongeBob SquarePants’ Address Correspond To A Theme Park On Jeffrey Epstein’s Island?
An image shared on Facebook claims the address on the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants’ driver’s license corresponds to that of a theme park on the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s private island.
SpongeBob’s fictional address does not correspond to a theme park on Epstein’s island. It appears the address was added as a practical joke.
Epstein, a financier and convicted sex offender, was found dead in his jail cell in August 2019 from what officials deemed a suicide while awaiting trial for federal sex-trafficking charges, according to The New York Times. His associate Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested earlier this month on charges of allegedly helping recruit minors for Epstein to sexually abuse, sparking a number of dubious claims to circulate on social media.
This particular post attempts to link Epstein’s private Caribbean island, Little St. James, to the home address of the titular character from the popular Nickelodeon cartoon “SpongeBob SquarePants.” It juxtaposes two images – one of the character’s driver’s license and one of Google search results for “little st james island theme park address – to claim SpongeBob’s address corresponds to a supposed “Ledges of Little St. James” theme park on Epstein’s island, where some of his accusers have said they were sexually abused.
“Why is Jeffrey Epstein sex traffic island address doing on SPONGEBOB…” reads the caption. “DO your research This is crazy.” (RELATED: Did Bill Gates Visit Jeffrey Epstein’s Private Island At Least 17 Times?)
While a Google search for “little st james island theme park address” did at one point display the address for SpongeBob’s “pineapple under the sea” on the northern tip of Little St. James, there is no actual connection between the fictional “124 Conch St., Bikini Bottom” address and Epstein’s island. The address no longer appears at that location when you Google it. Satellite imagery of Little St. James from Google Earth and 360-degree drone footage from the Miami Herald also show no outdoor theme park on the island.
The Wall Street Journal reported in 2019 that, according to advertisers, search experts and current and former Google employees, Google Maps is “overrun with millions of false business addresses and fake names.” Anyone can “publicly add places, like a business or landmark, to the map,” according to the help page for Google Maps.
In 2015, someone jokingly claimed the White House as the location of a fake snowboarding shop called “Edwards Snow Den,” seemingly referencing NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, per the Washington Post. The address for SpongeBob’s “pineapple under the sea” also appears to have been added to Google Maps as a practical joke, as the phone number previously listed for the location on Little St. James was the same one for the “SpongeBob and the Find Gary hotline,” which was part of a promotion for a “SpongeBob” movie, per The Dispatch Fact Check.