E-Tabs

The true size of continents

This may boggle your mind but continents aren’t the size you think they are…

All maps are distorted to try and represent the globe in two-dimensions, however this means continents aren’t always accurately depicted. The most commonly used map, the Mercator map, distorts countries so that those nearer the poles appear larger and those nearer the equator appear smaller than they really are.

Greenland, for example, appears as a similar size to Africa on the Mercator map. In reality Africa is over fourteen times larger!

Mind blown? Well you can see for yourselves with this interactive map. The map helps to visualize continents true size by allowing users to drag and drop a continent over another. You can, for example, see that China, India and United States all fit into Africa (gasp).

The map was created by James Talmage and Damon Maneice after inspiration from an episode of television show The West Wing and this infographic, “The True Size of Africa”.

Try it for yourself here.

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