A nice summary from National Geographic (who better) on the misconceptions of the world’s geography because of distorted maps and our need for simple mental images.
For example, in reality:
- Most of South America is east of Florida.
- Most of Africa is north of the Equator.
- Most of Europe is east of Canada, not the US.
Mercator maps are particularly egregious when it comes to imagining the relative size of places.
- South America is eight times larger than Greenland
- Brazil is larger than the contiguous US, and almost as big as Canada.
- Alaska is smaller than Libya.