Pokémon is having a major renaissance thanks to the new augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic. Already moving beyond a fanbase of video game nerds, after its release nearly one week ago, the iOS and Android app has added more than $7.5 billion to Nintendo’s market value and has been installed on nearly 5 percent of all Android smartphones in the U.S. The app is already bigger than Tinder, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Gamers have posted thousands of photos to social media of themselves capturing Charmander, Squirtle, and Rodan in their backyards, homes and offices. But Pokémon have also been showing up in far-flung and surprising locations–from the Pentagon and the White House to New Zealand, Istanbul, and Mosul, Iraq.
1. Mosul, Iraq On July 8th, Louis Park posted a screenshot of himself using Pokémon GO on the Mosul frontline near Teleskuf to facebook with a pointed message to ISIS: “Daesh, come challenge me to a pokemon battle.”
2. The U.S. Marines Firing Line The frontlines in Iraq aren’t the only military sites where Pokémon are being found; the U.S. Marines posted a humorous tweet featuring Pikachu on Monday afternoon.
3. The White House, Washington D.C. The most famous house in America is home to the President and his family… and Pokémon?
4. The Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia Many gamers were shocked to spot a Pokémon gym in the middle of one of the most heavily guarded buildings in the U.S.– the headquarters of the Department of Defense.
5. Eksioglu Cami, Istanbul There has been a great deal of buzz over the fact that many Pokémon GO hotspots are near or inside religious buildings such as synagogues, mosques, and churches. One such location is the Eksigoglu Cami in Istanbul.
6. The Taj Mahal, India Will one of the world’s most-visited tourist site become even more popular now that Pokémon have been spotted?
7. The Western Wall, Jerusalem The Old City of Jerusalem is holy ground for Muslims, Christians, Jews... and now Pokémon GO players.
8. Black Lives Matter Protest Two worlds collide: a photo capturing the two biggest stories of the week.
9. The Delivery Room The most important day of your life – one step closer to catching them all.
10. The Afterlife One user’s controversial tweet received dozens of replies, was retweeted more than 5000 times, and most certainly crossed the line.