Maps are deceiving. You see, the surface of a sphere cannot be represented as a plane without some form of distortion. Since the 1500s, scientists have been developing algorithms that would help transform the globe into something flat and to do this, they use a method called map projection. There is no right or wrong way to do it, and everything depends on the purpose of the map. But while every type of map preserves one thing, it messes up the other. Area, shape, direction, bearing, distance, and scale of the landmasses are the main properties map makers are constantly juggling. Most people usually look at the Mercator projection.

#1

Australia

Australia

Population: 23,470,145, and all trying to buy a house in Melbourne it seems

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Roniel Randelman
Community Member
2 years ago

A LOT bigger than I thought

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The Mercator map is widely used for navigation because of its ability to represent lines of constant course. A line drawn between two points on this map would provide the exact angle to follow on a compass to travel between these two points. It also preserves the shape of countries. However, it's less practical for world maps because the scale is distorted. And that's where the Internet comes into play. Imgurian and map lover Mkyner has compiled a series of overlapping maps showing countries from all over the world on top of the United States to give everyone a better understanding of just how huge it actually is.

#2

New Zealand

New Zealand

Population: 4,545,627 people and about 30,000,000 sheep

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Monika Soffronow
Community Member
2 years ago

New Zealand is also quite a bit larger than what I had in my head. Lovely country, with real leadership.

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Most popular maps are created using cylindrical projection. Imagine putting a cylinder over a globe and projecting each of the points of the sphere onto the cylindrical surface. Then, if you unroll the cylinder, you end up with a flat rectangular map.

#3

Russia

Russia

Population: 142,122,776

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Jus
Community Member
2 years ago

My desk map of the world suggests Russia is 4 times larger than the US. Strange.

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Flemish geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator created the Mercator projection in 1569. Gerardus preserved the direction of his map by varying the distances between the latitude lines and making them straight. However, as with every map, there are drawbacks. For example, on the Mercator map, Greenland and Africa look about the same size. But the actual size comparison to Africa shows that Greenland is smaller. 14 times smaller, to be precise.

#4

Brazil

Brazil

Population: 208,846,892

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The Girl on Fire
Community Member
2 years ago

I had no idea Brazil was this huge

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But mapping services like Google Maps still use the Mercator. Again, because of its ability to preserve shape and angles. Close-up views of cities and roads are more accurate. A 90-degree right turn on the map is a 90-degree right turn on the street that you're driving on. And when you're close-up, the distortion is minimal. If you want, however, a map that shows the true size of things, fire up one that's created with a Gall–Peters projection.

#5

India

India

Population: 1,296,834,042

Expected to pass China in population within a few years. Stripped bit near Winnipeg is occupied by China.

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Jeff
Community Member
2 years ago

About one third the size, if you include Alaska, but almost quadruple the population!

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"I've liked maps for as long as I can remember," Mkyner told Bored Panda. "I enjoy exploring distant places on Google Earth, I think it's important to have an understanding of the countries we hear about in the news, and I love sharing this interest with others (as I think many people do with their hobbies/passions)."

#6

Belgium

Belgium

Population: 11,570,762

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Val
Community Member
2 years ago

Yes, we're tiny and beautiful :-)

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"I was looking up maps of South Africa yesterday (19 May 2019) when I came across the first comparison map. That quickly led to the CIA World Fact Book (a US government source). I was trying to procrastinate on some chores, so compiling those maps into a post seemed like a perfect idea."

#7

China

China

Population: 1,384,688,986

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Hans
Community Member
2 years ago

Interesting to include Taipei here. Quite a political statement! I guess the taiwanese government will see this differently...

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"Note, I did not include every country in this USA size comparison post," they added. "I skipped Canada and Mexico, since they were on a lot of the maps anyway, and some of the smaller/more obscure countries (think Togo and Kyrgyzstan)."

#8

Indonesia

Indonesia

Population: 262,787,403

More than half the population is on that one island running from northern New Mexico to central Oklahoma. The big island in the upper Great Plains and that thing in the Atlantic are mostly jungle.

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Kangaruby
Community Member
2 years ago

That is super surprising.

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#9

Madagascar

Madagascar

Population: 25,683,610

Ports: closed.

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Monika Soffronow
Community Member
2 years ago

Now, this is something I had no idea of. Madagascar is much larger than I thought it would be.

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#10

Chile

Chile

Population: 17,925,262

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Hans
Community Member
2 years ago

As a North Chilean, visiting your Southern relatives is a journey...

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#11

Croatia

Croatia

Population: 4,270,480
One of the coolest-shaped countries, like a Needler from Halo.

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finelaffen
Community Member
2 years ago

Also, to drive from Split to Dubrovnik, you need to exit Croatia into Bosnia Herzegovina and back into Croatia.

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#12

Germany

Germany

Population: 80,457,737

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Hans
Community Member
2 years ago

Germany is quite small actually. But very densely populated. As a German, driving US roads ("no service next 200 miles") is an interesting experience.

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#13

Vatican City

Vatican City

Population: 1,000

aka Holy See

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Hans
Community Member
2 years ago

Many people have yards that are larger than Vatican city!

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#14

Poland

Poland

Population: 38,420,687

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Ed Souza
Community Member
2 years ago

Release the Krakow!

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#15

Japan

Japan

Population: 126,168,156 and 1 Godzilla

Bullet train will take you from Tokyo, Arkansas to Osaka, Texas in about 2.5hrs

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Hans
Community Member
2 years ago

Which is quite saddening for the US. A high-speed railway network would perfectly fit the topology and make travelling between major cities so much more convenient.

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#16

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Population: 65,105,246

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T Simmons
Community Member
2 years ago

Now do the commonwealth...

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#17

Italy

Italy

Population: 62,246,674

Giving South Carolina the boot.

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Ben Steinberg
Community Member
2 years ago

If they'd flip the image, Italy could be giving Washington DC the boot...

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#18

Argentina

Argentina

Population: 44,694,198

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Katherine Boag
Community Member
2 years ago

Don't cry for me...

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#19

Finland

Finland

Population: 5,537,364

May or may not exist.

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Kaisu
Community Member
2 years ago

Hey, Finland exists, I'm there right now! 🇫🇮

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#20

Iceland

Iceland

Population: 343,518

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Monika Soffronow
Community Member
2 years ago

Hehe, a pocket-sized country, yet everybody knows it.

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#21

Egypt

Egypt

Population: 99,413,317

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fakepanda
Community Member
2 years ago

I had know idea that Egypt was that big!

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#22

Norway

Norway

Population: 5,372,191

aka, Occupied West Sweden

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Noez 🇸🇪
Community Member
2 years ago (edited)

Aka occupied West Sweden???? Oh come on! Who did this? It's so not nice! Funny, but not nice.... 😁😁😁

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#23

Netherlands

Netherlands

Population: 17,151,228

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W Veer
Community Member
2 years ago

Awesome that Groningen (population 230.000) is included in the map, yet Utrecht (population 350.000) isn't. Er gaat niets boven Groningen! :D

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#24

Vietnam

Vietnam

Population: 97,040,334

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engineer_nope.avi
Community Member
2 years ago (edited)

We may be smaller, but we're powerful

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#25

Sweden

Sweden

Population: 10,040,995

That's a lot of vikings.

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Noez 🇸🇪
Community Member
2 years ago

Oh hell no... We don't wanna be there! PUT US BACK!!

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See Also on Bored Panda
#26

Turkey

Turkey

Population: 81,257,239

*Constantinople

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better version of alex
Community Member
2 years ago

It's istanbul, not constantinople now, it's istanbul (umbrella academy anyone)

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#27

Austria

Austria

Population: 8,793,370

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Chris Jones
Community Member
2 years ago

The culture aspect of Austria would overwhelm though.

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#28

Ukraine

Ukraine

Population: 43,952,299

IIRC, the Russian-occupied part in the east is roughly New Jersey, Delaware, and a bit of Pennsylvania

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finelaffen
Community Member
2 years ago

Largest country in Europe, in fact (excluding countries that span both Europe and Asia).

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#29

Georgia

Georgia

Population of the country of Georgia: 4,926,087

Population of the US State of Georgia: 10,519,475

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Hans
Community Member
2 years ago

Why did they put this not on top of the state of Georgia? A pun left unused...

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#30

Philippines

Philippines

Population: 105,893,381

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Luis Milian
Community Member
2 years ago

Fun fact: Philippines is the world's largest island within a lake (Main Crater Lake) that is situated on an island (aka Taal Island) located in a lake, within an island (Luzon). I been there and is beautiful!

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