Maps lie: countries that fit inside other countries

We all know the traditional, navigator-friendly Mercator projection distorts the true sizes of Earth's landmasses. But it's fascinating to see how countries look next to one another when that distortion is, as far as possible, removed. The tininess of Britain against Japan, for example, or the vastness of Alaska against France, become specific in this video from RealLifeLore. As for Greenland...

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  1. Maps lie: countries that fit inside other countries...The tininess of Britain against Japan, for example, or the vastness of Alaska against France

    One of those things is not like the others / One of those things just doesn't belong / Can you tell which thing is not like the others / by the time I finish my song?

  2. jerwin says:


  3. It's Britain. Japan, France, and Alaska are actual political units with their own laws and legislatures. Britain is just a geographical name for the island that has England, Scotland, and Wales on it.

  4. There is a basic problem with this video. While it is true that regions near poles look much bigger in Mercator Projection than they are in reality, the comparisons are still being made in the video on a flat Mercator Projection, which is not the reality. Reality is the globe, not the projection of it. The video itself is always a projection, but a spinning 3D animation of the globe is still better than a flat, static and therefore distorted projection.
    For example, around 4:39, Groenlandia is compared to Australia, South America and North America, first, making it much smaller (this is true because it is near North Pole and therefore it should so) but then is is moved unresized to be compared to those other regions which themselves should, in turn, be resized as well to make a fair comparison rather than on a flat Mercator projection.
    So the basic idea is true, but the visual explanation is full of mistakes; it should have been made on a 3D globe to get a more proportional idea.

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