The TRUE Size of Africa – Have Our Maps Been Misleading For Over 500 Years?


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The earth is round and therefore the challenge of any world map is to represent a round earth on a flat surface. But have our world maps been wrong or misleading for 500 years? It seems as though they have. Although the featured clip in this article is from ‘The West Wing’, the inaccuracies of the world maps we commonly use is anything but fictional. The clip below reveals an accurate look at the size of Africa and how a world map might better reflect its size.

When first coming across this myself I was surprised to see how off it was, but after thinking of how populated Africa is, the land mass itself, and how many countries are in Africa, it became easy to see how big it has to be.true size africa

The map shows how Africa (30,3 million km²) is larger than the combination of China (9,6 million km²), the US (9,4 million km²), Western Europe (4,9 million km²), India (3,2 million km²) and Argentina (2,8 million km²), three Scandinavian countries and the British Isles (map gives no surface for these last two areas). Map Source

The Peters Projection World Map

Peters Projection World Map

The Peters Projection World Map is one of the most stimulating, and controversial, images of the world. When this map was first introduced by historian and cartographer Dr. Arno Peters at a Press Conference in Germany in 1974 it generated a firestorm of debate. The first English-version of the map was published in 1983, and it continues to have passionate fans as well as angry detractors.

There are thousands of map projections. Each has certain strengths and corresponding weaknesses. Choosing among them is an exercise in values clarification: you have to decide what’s important to you. That is generally determined by the way you intend to use the map. In the case of Peters map, it is an area accurate map.

It is true that a simple change in the look of a map can cause a reconsideration of your fixed ideas about a place.

Source: Whydontyoutrythis.com

 

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  1. Pingback: The true size of Africa will surprise you | WOMEN & AFRICA

  2. There’s a pretty interesting youtube video by VSauce that explains this “issue” very well. There are lots of different map types and you can never make an 100% accurate map because a sphere can’t be transformed into a flat object.

  3. Skip

    In all kindness:

    Can we get Rich to stop saying “In all kindness”

  4. Pingback: Magellan | Twice the size of Africa?

  5. John

    Interested article. But, some of the things people spit out of their mouths from lack of knowledge and thinking is strange. Look! The world is really flat -they don’t know what they are talking about!

    Please understand what measurement is and how we use it in science!

  6. Pingback: Size of Africa | Wind Powered Aircraft

  7. Pingback: Schmidt’s “New Media Writer as Cartographer” | Andy Estabrook

  8. Stanley J.

    I MIGHT care about your point…. if there weren’t GLOBES!! I think those are still proportional.

    • Rich

      In all kindness:

      “…I think those are still proportional. …”

      No matter what, the senses filter.
      For one, the blind spots.

      “To them, I say, the truth would be nothing more than shadows of the imagination.”
      —Plato, from “The Republic”

      &

      „Man sieht nur, was man weiß.“ (One only sees, what one knows.) – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

      One thinks using the tools one has. For those who have only some command of English, those ‘English concepts’ represent their tools.

      An example:

      Relativity and the Twin Paradox I The Great Courses – You Tube!
      http://tinyurl.com/2-persons
      Please watch.

      Using English concepts; substitute the persons referred to as ‘the twins’, with persons known as ‘mother and her own child’. Set the age of the mother at 18 years old and the age of the child at 1 year old, and have the mother travel with the rocket.
      At return to “earth” the mother will be “younger than” her own child. And the child will be “older” than its own mother.

      English cultural codes, in error, most likely will have that: ‘A mother is always older than her own child’.

      The person illusion, in this YouTube video, known as ‘Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D.’ fails to be aware that languages are also relative.

      Refer to: “The linguistic relativity principle, or the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis”.
      http://tinyurl.com/Sapir-Whorf-hypothesis

      The person illusion ‘Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D.’ is using the tools of command of English available to this person illusion. And also fails, for one, to take into account the implications of the ‘blind spots’.

      Physicists discover ‘clearest evidence yet’ that the Universe is a hologram
      http://tinyurl.com/holographical-lacking

      The person illusion ‘Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D.’ using the tools of command of English available to this person illusion also fails to take into account the implications of the holographical qualities. Most common for English speakers, as these qualities are lacking in the English concepts, and thus conceptualizations.

      In other words, referring to J.W. von Goethe: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D only sees (experiences), what Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D knows, persistently.

      Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. – Albert Einstein.

      • Are you saying this, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D., “believes” that Time slows down when you approach the speed-of-light?

        If so, then the Ph.D.’s of this world are…TOTALLY IGNORANT!

        (Hmmm…??? Naw!…But then,…Naw…wait a minute, “maybe”…just “MAYBE”, that is the reason this World is all “MESSED-UP!” We have given those with “Scholarly Knowledge”…too much CREDIT!)

        Oops! “My BAD!” I’ll wait for your reply…

        • Rich

          @bobby90247,

          We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.
          Gautama Buddha
          http://tinyurl.com/Siddhartha-Gautama

          Use different thoughts, and a different ‘we’ and ‘world’ arises.

          In the awake state of consciousness, it is a possibility to create the experience of walking on a beach, meeting people, seeing the waves etc. This is also possible in the dream state of consciousness. In both these states of consciousness the same tools are in use. Energy, consciousness and the focusing of information. And in both these states of consciousness, holographic form variations of energy manifest which create reality experiences.

          It is from the dream state of consciousness it can be known that we are the creators of our personal holographic realities; in the mind.

          This is also the case in regard to something like: “The Measurement Problem | Quantum Mechanics”. – http://tinyurl.com/problem-creation

          “We are not the cool observers of the world, but its “passionate creators” — we are all poets and the world is our metaphor.” – Roger S. Jones

          The measurement problem is being created, as, in error, language-wise ‘being the creator’ is being substituted with ‘being the observer’. Holographic reflections of own thought are creating holographic realities and experiences. Even if being ‘the creator’ is camouflaged with the word ‘observer’.

          In order to avoid the language ‘wild goose chases’; use moving images to think with in the mind. After all, it is all in the mind.

          Also language, both in text- and spoken form is easily forgotten. Just try recalling the Traffic code (also motor vehicle code) or a speech.

          Yet, producing and holding the image of an orange, or banana in the mind, is doable if not easy.

          • Sorry, but you’re talking to the wrong person.

            Yeah! I know what you’re talking about…fully! It simply doesn’t hold water with me as what you are talking about is someone in a “Dream” state. “WE” are not in a “Dream” state…PERIOD!

            Are there “other” REALITIES?

            Most definitely!

            Is there any way for us to comprehend them?

            Nope!

            “WE” have NO common ground upon which to understand our next progression as the “beings” that we are.

            “IF”…We could talk to a “child in the womb”…how could we describe their first breath of air? OR, their mouth? OR, etc., etc., etc. There is NO way to describe to them anything of the world they are about to enter as there is no common ground!

            The ONLY thing they “may” understand, is sound?

            Even then, what they hear is a “muffled” sound, Very different from “our” sounds.

            Anyway, you get the picture.

            And, my question about, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D.?

          • Rich

            “WE” are not in a “Dream” state…PERIOD!

            The statement is: “…is also possible in the dream state OF CONSCIOUSNESS.”

            Refer kindly to “…Also language, both in text- and spoken form is easily FORGOTTEN…”. (OF CONSCIOUSNESS = forgotten)

            “….child in the womb…”
            Filtering of the senses!

            And, my question about, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D.?

            Beliefs form reality.
            Refer to: The Placebo Effect: Transforming Biology With Belief
            http://tinyurl.com/k6t22kp

        • @bobby90247

          “Are you saying this, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D., “believes” that Time slows down when you approach the speed-of-light?”

          Tyson KNOWS this to be the case. They’ve shown by using atomic clocks that time DOES slow down the faster you travel. If you actually tried to read more maybe you’d understand that just because something seems outlandish doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

          • “…Tyson KNOWS this to be the case…” NO! He doesn’t “KNOW” this to be true. He only KNOWS it as much as he can understand it! “Atomic Clocks” are subject to the forces of “gravity” just as “light” is subject to the forces of gravity. Gravity, bends “light!” Gravity, can also have an effect on an “Atomic Clock!” An atomic clock is a “mechanism” which is subject to the forces of “gravity.” PERIOD

            Read the original text by Einstein, he NEVER said anything about “time” slowing down as you approach the speed-of-light…PERIOD! He used it only as an illustration. Just like he illustrated “How” gravity works by “imagining” a ball on a blanket suspended by four corners and a lead ball in the middle. The blanket being “space” curves “inward” toward the lead ball. “Space” isn’t “curved”…he simply showed it that way for illustrative purposes…that’s all!

            STOP believing the misdirection and misinformation being propagated by the Pharisees (scientists, doctors, teachers, governments, etc.) of yesterday!

  9. Since we can see the continents FROM SPACE, I don’t see how our current maps could be wrong. We can check their accuracy…. FROM SPACE.

    • Rich

      In all kindness:

      “…We can check their accuracy…. FROM SPACE….”

      Try
      “Measurement Problem – Reality is an Illusion” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJThU1jDT2o

      and or

      “Spooky Actions At A Distance?: Oppenheimer Lecture” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta09WXiUqcQ

      and or

      “Why we have blind spots – and how to see the blood vessels inside your own eye!” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_W-IXqoxHA

    • moreblablabla@mac.com

      It’s all about mapping a 3-d sphere onto a 2-d sheet of paper. It does not fit. The convention is to expand the areas closer to the poles. Maps that do not look very quashed in the same areas.

    • Booker

      I checked google maps and measurements to scale for Africa and the US, they are different!

  10. Pingback: Wait, what? then where is France? / the real map | A girl with blue eyes

  11. Damon

    Here is a site a friend and I built on top of google maps, which highlights the size distortions of the Mercator map. thetruesize.com

  12. Niko

    Mercator maps havent mislead us, they are used for sea and air navigation, because of the “inaccuracies” they alow us to plot strait courses navigating.

    The article is misleading uninformed people to conpiracy theories that only raise the lvl of ignorance.

    • Rich

      In all kindness:

      Reality is an illusion(hologram)/realities are illusions(holograms).
      Mercator maps, possibly, but not necessarily can be known. If known, Mercator maps are illusions/holograms.

      For information:

      “…Seeing more than your eye does
      Most people (even many who work on the brain) assume that what you see is pretty much what your eye sees and reports to your brain. In fact, your brain adds very substantially to the report it gets from your eye, so that a lot of what you see is actually “made up” by the brain. …”.

      http://tinyurl.com/8anao

      &

      ” Why eyewitnesses get it wrong – Scott Fraser” – YouTube
      http://tinyurl.com/mh5za48

    • Rich

      In all kindness and in addition:

      “The TRUE Size of Africa…”

      Regarding ‘size’ (of whatever) the Measurement Problem (Quantum Mechanics) also is a possibility be considered.

      YouTube:
      Measurement Problem – Reality is an Illusion
      http://tinyurl.com/cglc5ve

      &

      Observer Effect
      http://tinyurl.com/keclmyq

      In brief:
      “We are not the cool observers of the world, but its “passionate creators” — we are all poets and the world is our metaphor.” – Roger S. Jones

      &

      The Placebo Effect: Transforming Biology With Belief (The Placebo Effect of size,maps etc.)
      http://tinyurl.com/k6t22kp

    • Rich

      In all kindness and in addition:

      “We are not the cool observers of the world, but its “passionate creators” — we are all poets and the world is our metaphor.” – Roger S. Jones

      It is only possible to use the tools one has and to use these tools deliberately one has to be aware that one has this tool.

      The most important tool which we do have and do use sub-consciously to create our realities/universe with, is called in English “Visualization”!

      As this visualization creation tool is most often used sub-consciously by default; awareness of this creation tool is often overlooked.

      The world famous American photographer Ansel Adams is aware and uses this visualization creation tool deliberately. Mr Ansel Adams explains the deliberate use of this most important visualization creation tool in the following YouTube video/interview.

      ‘Photography Visualization Advice by Ansel Adams’
      http://tinyurl.com/p5n5tch

      Based on cultural codes one creates sub-consciously, using this visualization creation tool to ‘being ill’ (placebo effect) of course one can use this same visualization creation tool to ‘being healthy’ (placebo effect) or whatever otherwise one wishes to create, once one is aware and uses this visualization creation tool to create on purpose.

      • Rich

        In all kindness and in addition:

        “Reality is merely an illusion (a hologram) albeit a very persistent one” – Albert Einstein. – (The Blind Spots still apply!)

        Using languages, holographic reality manifestations are also created. Yet with language the focus is on ‘the how?’, ‘the when?’, and ‘the why’. And unaware, one disappears on a multitude of “Wild Goose Chases”.

        Map holographic manifestations being examples of the focus being on
        ‘the how?’, ‘the when?’, and ‘the why’.

        The ‘Guugu Yimithirr language’ focuses with information, what, for one is known as ‘Cardinal direction’. Like maps, is also direction related. And like maps, there is the focus of information, and energy -no matter what- assumes holographic forms within consciousness, and there are manifestation vorm variations of energy, which form experiences of all kinds.
        With or without maps.

        A multitude of references:

        Cardinal direction
        http://tinyurl.com/mqrh2j3

        Relative direction
        http://tinyurl.com/m789fsr

        Fantastic Features We Don’t Have In The English Language
        YouTube A/V.

        http://tinyurl.com/lyuazx4

        Of course, using visualization in the mind (Ansel Adams); energy still assumes the holographic forms of this visualization moving image information of the end-result only,

        Energy doesn’t judge, energy just assumes forms.
        .

        • Rich

          In all kindness and in addition:

          The Placebo Effect: Transforming Biology With Belief.

          This transforming (passionately creating) of a reality or realities with a belief or beliefs is visualized by Dr Masaru Emoto.

          Refer to YouTube video ‘Messages From Water Water Crystals In Motion Dr Masaru Emoto’
          http://tinyurl.com/cmmogpm

          • Rich

            In all kindness and in addition:

            “Visualise To Materialise — Thinking positive has failed our society because we do not have what is called the neuro-associative visualisation tool — to create our reality. In other words, while visualising and thinking positive, do their part… they do so without feelings. It is the feeling of having it now that attracts your desired objective. …’

            http://tinyurl.com/kmf2nus

            Vizualizing using language, for one, using text- has text materialise. Using moving images has a moving image reality materialise, It remains a hologram (illusion) in the mind as the sense still filter. Which will do perfectly.

  13. chow

    Africa = Continent

    • Rich

      In all kindness.

      “…Africa = Continent…”

      Reality is an illusion. Including the concepts ‘Africa’ and ‘Continent’.
      For one, the senses filter, reference ‘Blind Spot test’, inter alia,
      http://chilp.it/7ae91f

  14. Pingback: Happy Friday // 5 Good Things | Love Creative Blog

  15. Rich

    In all kindness and in addition:

    Mathematics Placebo Effect:

    “[...] Phys.Org:

    Is mathematics an effective way to describe the world?

    Mathematics has been called the language of the universe. Scientists and engineers often speak of the elegance of mathematics when describing physical reality, citing examples such as π, E=mc2, and even something as simple as using abstract integers to count real-world objects. Yet while these examples demonstrate how useful math can be for us, does it mean that the physical world naturally follows the rules of mathematics as its “mother tongue,” —

    —The reason, Abbott says, is that because when you recognize that math is just a mental construct [...]

    http://tinyurl.com/lt9kp4c

    Mathematics is an accumulation of beliefs, as are languages and the “The Placebo Effect – http://tinyurl.com/k6t22kp” , and like languages and the ‘Placebo Effect’ it is a possibility in variations to adhere to these beliefs, yet it is not a necessity. An example being, the members of the Pirahã tribe – Numerical cognition without words: evidence from Amazonia”. In: Science Express, 10.1126/science.1094492 (2004) – http://tinyurl.com/mwuujnc

    “We are not the cool observers of the world, but its “passionate creators” — we are all poets and the world is our metaphor.” – Roger S. Jones

    ‘The entire universe emerges from thought” – Gautama Buddha

    Change the concepts which are in use to think with/focus with, and and it is a possibility that an alternative universe or what ever otherwise, emerges.

    One is free to choose.

  16. Rich

    In all kindness and in addition:

    Business Insider:

    “6 Chimps Who Are Better Than You At Painting …The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) announced the winners of its Chimpanzee Art Contest on Thursday.

    Six sanctuaries across the U.S. submitted an original piece of art from one of their retired chimpanzees. All of these animals have a had a rough life, having once been used for medical research, forced into acting, or locked up in zoos and circuses. Painting is one activity that is used to cheer the chimps up once they are released into a safe haven. ….”

    http://tinyurl.com/kmmkafb

    There is the information that World population* phenomenon is 7.108 billion (short scale)**. In order to know if the assertion/argument/thesis “Better Than You At Painting” applies; knowing/’being aware of’ the painting skills of the world 7.108 billion (short scale) population phenomenon, is a requirement.

    And as the phenomenon Charles Robert Darwin in the ‘On the Origin of Species’ – (On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life***), the phenomenon Mrs Dina Spector**** -science reporter at Business Insider, graduate from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University- eg also neglects to integrate the implications of for instance ‘The Blind Spot*****’ into this article.

    This neglecting to integrate the implications of the filtering of the senses, is also present in the products/maps of the phenomena, for one, known as cartographers.

    The ‘Blind Spot test’, for one, is an excellent tool to come to appreciate and understand the quote: “Know Thyself”.

    * http://tinyurl.com/lzbzd9u

    ** http://tinyurl.com/lzbzd9u

    *** http://tinyurl.com/p5nxzw9

    **** http://tinyurl.com/kgcdqq7

    ***** http://tinyurl.com/7hxlbms

  17. You’re telling me holland is in belgium? That’s realy a mistake there, i believe the movie is right, just not the picture that is below it because belgium is not holland.

    • I mean in the africa depiction there is not holland at all in there, (i think holland looks like a cows head)
      :)
      The peters map is right ofcourse.

      • Rich

        In all kindness:

        “…The peters map is right of course….”

        Holland meaning ‘The Netherlands’.

        Not necessarily!

        Everything becomes what you think it is, using the tools (language concepts for one) one has to think with (focus with).

        No (zero) concept ‘the Netherlands’ (Holland) and there is ‘no (zero) The Netherlands’.

        After all, it remains a possibility to have a ‘Holland experience’ in the dream state of consciousness.

        To remain aware, using the ‘dream state of consciousness’ acts as a tool.

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  19. Shaun

    The Peter’s map has elongated sections in the middle whereas traditional maps have them at the extremities. Both work as long as you know what you’re looking at but this article is misleading. For a true idea, simply buy a globe!

  20. SomeoneWhoActuallyKnowsGeography

    What the f##k? There is an “Eastern Europe” country now? Ukraine alone is larger than Spain.

  21. julian@idselpaso.com

    If you are an adult and this in any way changes your perspective about a place then you are a liberal idiot. Plus if you have gone through 4th grade and you don’t know that Iceland is not the size of the continent of Africa then please do not have children.

  22. Akusete

    Obligatory xkcd link http://xkcd.com/977/

  23. stretchwithme

    Why do we need to keep thinking in 2D anyway?

    • Michel SASTRE

      Even when cartographer think in 3D, the usually only have a flat sheet of paper to work on.

    • Rich

      Conditioning. For one the English language beliefs.

      ‘The TRUE Size of Africa’ is the ‘The Placebo Effect’ of Geography.

      Reference:
      The Placebo Effect: Transforming Biology With Belief
      http://tinyurl.com/k6t22kp

      In a nutshell: “It is all in the mind”.

      • Rich

        In addition:

        “The Universe as a Hologram
        by Michael Talbot….But the most mind-boggling aspect of Pribram’s holographic model of the brain is what happens when it is put together with Bohm’s theory. For if the concreteness of the world is but a secondary reality and what is “there” is actually a holographic blur of frequencies, and if the brain is also a hologram and only selects some of the frequencies out of this blur and mathematically transforms them into sensory perceptions, what becomes of objective reality? Put quite simply, it ceases to exist. As the religions of the East have long upheld, the material world is Maya, an illusion, and although we may think we are physical beings moving through a physical world, this too is an illusion. …”

        http://tinyurl.com/6qu56d

        &

        Michael Talbot. The Holographic Universe
        YouTube – 04.52 – ….
        http://tinyurl.com/qjmcs8l

        &

        David Bohm – Wholeness and the Implicate Order
        PDF

        http://tinyurl.com/nsnfxon

        • Rich

          In addition and in all kindness:
          “Holographic Universe, The Secret beyond Matter”
          YouTube!

          http://tinyurl.com/nse7z59

          Referring to the definition* as mentioned in “The Placebo Effect: Transforming Biology With Belief” and below.

          In this YouTube video (visualization) the mind/consciousness is substituted for the brain. And that it is about information (beliefs based on languages, vedic-mathematics, euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry, images etc.) is lost.

          The skull with the brain is also a hologram and the skull hologram might be perceived to be light-tight, it is not information tight. And not only that but “Grey Walter’s Anticipatory Tortoises” do not even have a brain, but there is mind/consciousness. And after all, in the dream state of mind/consciousness it is also possible to experience a reality with a bird etc. without the use of eyes, ears etc..

          In regard to information, it is also possible to use ‘The Klein Bottle’ for map projection and create an alternative holographic reality map manifestation which is still in the mind/consciousness.

          The Klein bottle is the non-orientable surface with Euler characteristic equal to 0.
          http://tinyurl.com/92rs

          Definition:
          “Everything is a holographic energy form variation manifestation, within consciousness, by which energy assumes the holographic form variation and manifests as a holographic reflection relative to the information* which is in use to focus with and in doing so co-create with.”

          • Rich

            In all kindness and in addition:

            “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent (holographic) one.” – Albert Einstein.

            An example of a reality (placebo) holographic illusion:

            “Why a 4 400 kg heavy Atomic Bomb with only 61 kg of Uranium-235 did not function 1945 and does not function today … or ever! ….”

            http://tinyurl.com/mtykltu

            P.S.
            Histories do not constitute an exception

            Using the ‘dream state of consciousness’ acts as a tool.

  24. ann-marie white

    I first got a peters map in the 1980 s sometime it is true it is very difficult to put something 3d into a 2d form this offers a different perspective. and surey as many perspectives as possible can only e a good thing

    • Do you have an article that has the right information and the right depictions?

    • Sorry , wrong reply.

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