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I've noticed these white ripples will appear on the map. The spots are temporary, with them disappearing and new ones appearing occasionally:

A screenshot of the Pokemon GO map, showing two “white ripple” spots near the player.
Plz ignore the level 2 I just started don't judge meee…

What do these nearby white ripples mean?

I haven't been able to figure out what they are since standing near or on top of them gets no reaction, nor does tapping them. I assumed they were “sonar pings” of nearby pokemon because of the way they ripple when your personal circle hits them, but no pokemon have appeared.

Also since researching this question turned up that it's rustling leaves on the map that represents nearby pokemon, I'm guessing this must be something else?

  • Have you tried tapping them? – Dragonrage Jul 30 '16 at 0:52
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    @Dragonrage Right, I knew I was forgetting something. That was the first thing I tried: no dice, just the normal blue blob of doing nothing. – SevenSidedDie Jul 30 '16 at 0:54
  • Well, even joining late, you still get to experience server problems. Niantic is really nice like that. They haven't fixed the problems yet so that everyone gets the same UX. – Dragonrage Jul 30 '16 at 0:58
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The reason you see these, is most likely because of server trouble. They appear around Pokémon that are standing there. Normally you would see a Pokémon standing there in the middle, but because of server issues, you aren't actually seeing the Pokémon. See the following picture.enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • Indeed, there was a pokemon lurking there: to actually see it though, I had to kill the app (not just close it) and relaunch it fresh. A nidorino♂ was right where the top-left ripples were. (Whatever was in the other spot had disappeared by then.) – SevenSidedDie Jul 30 '16 at 2:01

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