Every Map You’ve Ever Seen Is A Damn Lie

Not so tough now, are you Canada?!

Not to blow your mind or anything, but maps have been deceiving us for years.

The Mercator projection map, which is almost every flat map you’ve ever seen, doesn’t actually depict accurate landmasses. They’re stretched and skewed at the upper latitudes, near the poles.

The website TheTrueSize.com shows relative sizes of landmasses by correcting, albeit imperfectly, these “distortions” on traditional Mercator projection maps.

1. For instance, look at how huge Greenland is:

Greenland (in red) looks massive on this map. The difference is especially obvious when compared to Japan, which is in yellow on the lower right side of the image.

But when you bring it down to the lower latitudes next to Japan…

What?! They’re practically the same size!

2. Russia is also smaller than you might think.

Russia makes China look small on a Mercator projection map.

But when China overlaps Russia…

When you move China up to the upper latitudes near Russia, you can see that the two countries are closer in size than you probably imagined.

3. Take a look at Indonesia:

Indonesia is right down on the equator, which means that it’s actually bigger than you think it is.

It’s roughly the size of Europe when you move it away from the lower latitudes:

Not as much landmass, but look how much space those islands take up!

4. There’s obviously a huge difference between Canada and Australia, right?

There’s no contest between the two. Canada is the second largest country in the world, after all.

Maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration.

When you move Canada down to the southern part of the Pacific Ocean, it’s clear that we’ve been overestimating a bit.

5. Of course, India is smaller than Antarctica, right? Everything is smaller than Antarctica!

It’s not even worth comparing the two.

Actually, they’re more comparable than you thought!

When you bring Antarctica up to the equator, it’s clear that India is pretty big too.

6. And you’ve probably always assumes that Alaska and Brazil were about the same size, right?

If anything, Alaska might be a little bit bigger.

Nope!

Quite the contrary! When Alaska is brought down to the southern hemisphere, it’s actually pretty small!

Thumbnail images: Isabeltp / Getty Images

This post was translated from Japanese.

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