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Maps. More lies your teachers told you.

Like everyone else in the world, my greatest exposure to world maps came in school where they were plastered on the wall of the seventh grade Social Studies room.  They were boring.

They were considerably more fun in globe form where you could see how fast you could make the world spin. It was as close as I would ever get to having god-like powers.

So I, like you, think the world looks kind of like this:

You may see it in color, but other than that, you and me are totally in agreement.

But apparently this map does not accurately represent the true shape of the continents.  The Peters Projection Map does.

It kind of looks like a Salvador Dali version of the first map, doesn’t it? Like Africa is melting or something.  Or like another planet smashed into the bottom and moved everything up on the map and made it all squishy-like.

Apparently this is because the first map, the one you think is real, is based on navigational needs (i.e. lines of latitude) so that ships can safely navigate the waters, etc.  This results in a distortion of the map by a factor of 33 over 80 degrees of latitude.  So the map you know is the funhouse mirror version of the world.

Well, look at me! I’m tall, skinny Greenland!

But that’s not the most messed up part.  After the initial shock you can kind of get your head around the new shapes because they look close enough to the vision in your head that it doesn’t make that much of a difference.  However, the makers of the Hobo-Dyer projection map…

A still photo of an as of now undyed hobo.

… has even more change in mind for how we view the world.  After all, there is no real reason why anyone should ever think of North as up.

Finally!  Australia on top of the world!

I’m getting dizzy just thinking about this.  Fortunately, I know exactly what to do to make it all make sense…

Put on the blindfold of unreason and pretend this never, ever happened.

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