Maps that will change your world view forever
Scientists to this day have not come to a consensus on how to most properly display the relief of a spherical planet on a flat sheet of paper. It is like drawing a map on a mandarin, peeling it off and trying to flatten it into a rectangle. It is clear that areas close to the "poles" will have to stretch greatly.
We all use the Gerard Mercator projection, but it has a flaw: the closer the islands and countries are to the poles, the more they appear. Thetruesize.com website was created to better represent the real size ratios on the map.
The true size of Greenland
First look at Greenland. Big Island, isn't it? Almost like South America. But when Greenland moves to the latitude of the United States, it is clear that it is not so big at all. And when transferred to the equator, it is clear that this is just an island, not a giant island.
But what would have happened if Australia were at the latitude of Russia and Europe
It seems that Australia is small. Firstly, it is close to the equator, secondly, it is remote from other continents and there is nothing to compare it with. But look at these cards.
Notice how the shape of Australia changed as you moved to the North. This is because its part is located beyond the Arctic Circle, that is, very close to the pole, and greatly stretched out on the projection.
But the United States (without Alaska) in comparison with Australia. As it turned out, they are almost identical in size.
How about the true size of Russia?
Russia is not only the largest country, but also the most northern. That is why on the map it looks like a giant, which is even more than many continents. But transferring Russia to the equator, we will see that it has decreased by a factor of two or three.
If the Democratic Republic of the Congo were in Europe, there would be almost no place for other countries
All countries on the African continent look somehow small. This is all due to the fact that they are located on the equator. See how the Republic of Congo covered almost half of the United States and most of Europe.
The largest African countries in the latitude of Russia
Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Libya and Chad are quite large countries, but usually this is not visible due to their situation. And in fact, if you “blind” together these five countries, they will be almost like Russia in size.
Place the six largest countries along the equator. Now they are on an equal footing.
Russia, of course, is still huge, but not as supergiant as it seems, being in its latitudes. And here it is perfectly clear how big Australia is.
Other existing cartographic projections, through which scientists are trying to solve the problem of a plausible image of the relief of the Earth.