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The Great Map Deception

Our World Isn’t Flat, But Its Also Not What Maps Portray

Somethings we take for granted as being correct and accurate, after all we have maps of the World displayed in or schools and encyclopedias, all our academia uses the same depictions and gives everyone across the World the same impression of what the World looks like.

Our perceptions of how big or small Countries are is all derived from these maps, the Mercator projection is the name of this globally mutually agreed upon map.

Gerardus Mercator (5 March 1512 – 2 December 1594) was  a Flemish cartographer famous for creating a world map based on a projection which showed sailing courses as straight lines.

However, though it may not be some elaborate conspiracy it does give a skewed impression of our planet. Some of which gave favour to the size of the wealthy lands to the North.

There is also a valid reason for this skewed perspective of the earth and this due to its spherical form, depicting lands mass sizes and shape of a three-dimensional sphere onto a two-dimensional map is no easy task.

So this is the map we are all familiar with:

The Mercator Projection Map

As you can see North America seems larger than Africa, Scandinavian countries appear larger than India, and Alaska looks bigger than Brazil. Greenland appears to be a large sparse island big enough to rival Africa!

The Africa Deception

Probably the biggest flaw in the map is Africa, though already appearing large on the map its true size is phenomenally greater than depicted in the Mercator Projection.

In reality you can fit the USA, India, Europe, and China into Africa and still have space for Liberia and Japan.

The Africa Deception

Not So Giant Greenland

Greenland is the next major landmass which is displayed totally out of proportion, though by looking at the Mercator Projection you would believe its size not vastly different to that of Africa’s, you’d be wrong – in fact its true size is just 1/14th of the size shown on the map:

Little Greenland

What About Russia?

Russia seems to dominate most of the World according to the maps we’ve always been shown, but is it really the gigantic beast it appears to be or has this too been vastly oversized?:

Russia in Africa

Yep, you guessed right. Russia can fit easily in the Northern region of the African Continent thus blowing apart any past perceptions that Russia was the gigantic domineering region of the World we may of had.

The list of inaccuracies goes on and on until you realise everything you thought you knew about our World is in fact quite literally an artists impression based on bias and multiple unknowns at the time of its creation.

Now you would think that our maps would of been updated a little in the 350 years since its creation, but apparently not, that is not to say there hasn’t been an on going battle between academics in the field. There have been a number of different projections proposed over the years, however none have gained any traction in the wider community.

Various Map Projections

Though it the great scheme of things such a deception may not be of huge importance, it is a problem as it plays a huge part on how everyone perceives the World in which they live in. Though a Countries or Continents size may seem unimportant, it does affect how we see other nations and their role in the World.

The World may not be flat, but it’s also vastly different to what we think.

The other point worth considering is why is the North, the north and why is the South, the south? Who decided which was up and down on this sphere floating in an infinitely expanding universe which has no up and no down?


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