Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Africa is even more humungous than we'd suspected - China's the purple bit, and the UK fits into Madagascar

This is what happens when you de-Mercatorise the globe to produce a true picture based on actual geographical size (you can see this map more clearly at the excellent brilliantmaps.com). Graphics whiz Kai Krause seems to have set the ball rolling in 2010, with this map:

In case you're finding that difficult to read, you can visit Kruse's site for a clearer image. The second largest colour blob to the north is the United States, China is now to the south, and the UK, again, occupies most of Madagascar.

Here's another view (in case you're not confused enough by now), which nicely illustrates how comparatively small India and Western Europe (the ochre blob in the middle) are, and how relatively enormous Mexico (the green blob on the extreme left) is:

It raises many questions (in my mind, at least) but voicing them would probably amount to hate crime, so I'll keep them to myself.


  1. Erik the Boneless9 March 2016 at 19:55

    Fascinating. Your British part has resisted the temptation to compare any land mass "with the size of Wales" or multiples thereof and your Norwegian bit does not invoke the fact that if you turned Norway upside down the North Cape would end up in the Bay of Naples. Every "International" meeting I have ever attended has always involved a Norwegian bringing up this interesting fact. It always leaves the majority of people bemused except for the Germans who are invariably incensed by it.

    Fans of your blog would like to hear these questions you refer to. They will support you when the evil Hogan Hogan comes to get you.

  2. I imagine most African dictators' Swiss bank accounts are the size of Wales.

    I, for one, have never heard that interesting fact about Norway and the Bay of Naples - but then I 'm fortunate in not having attended any international meetings, with or without any Norwegians, in years. Still, makes one think - only I'm not sure what it makes one think. Perhaps the Germans are incensed because they think the Bay of Naples - and everything between them and it - should belong to them, as opposed to just being run by them.

    As for the questions which might lead to me being banged up by the Met (or, more likely Police Scotland who get their sporrans in a right old twist about this sort of thing) I can't help wondering whether it isn't about time we saw, for instance, some useful inventions coming out of the Dark Continent. (To be fair, black Africans have recently come up with the charging shoe and the cardiopad, which both sound clever, so there are some hopeful signs.) I know inventions aren't the ultimate measure of civilisation, but they're an indication of a healthy, vibrant (in the genuine sense) culture. There's a problem with enforcing patent law and many African countries are hugely corrupt, which doesn't help matters. But, given the inventiveness of Africans when it comes to organising online scams, it would be nice if their entrepreneurialism expressed itself more often in ways that might be of benefit to the rest of us, as well as themselves. And why does famine appear to be an insoluble problem? Zimbabwe is suffering yet another one right now, and Mugabe has called for more foreign aid. Yes, they've had low rainfall, but shouldn't they have measures in place by now to withstand this sort of occasional event? I know blaming Whitey and foreign meddling and exploitation and colonialism and fulminating self-righteously at the UN are ever such fun, but enough money and advice and technology have been poured into Africa over the years to make one wonder if it isn't about time they took responsibility for their own problems and set about solving them. As the crude American comedian Sam Kinison once put it: "We have deserts in America. We just don't live in them, asshole!" Still, when societies are based on tribalism and/or Islam, sorting out problems isn't high on the agenda.

    There, that should be enough for Inspector Knacker to drop those boring investigations into rapes and burglaries and race round here with sirens blaring.