Real sizes of the countries of the world: a projection joke

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Real sizes of the countries of the world: a projection joke
Real sizes of the countries of the world: a projection joke

Few people think about the real size of the countries of the world. What for? After all, it is enough to look at the world map - and you can estimate the size of countries in relation to each other. But things are not the way people used to think. The real size of the countries differs from what we see on the maps. This is not a worldwide conspiracy, but just a distortion when trying to transfer the shape of a ball to the plane. Unlike modern educational institutions, all the principles and consequences of such effects were explained in Soviet schools.

Hood projection

In fact, the real sizes of countries and continents are still different from what we see. Looking at the map, one can quite reasonably believe that Russia is larger than the whole continent - Africa. Everything is a little different. The continent of Africa covers about 30 million km2 while Russia covers only 17 million.

Cause of delusion

Why is this happening? There is no misinformation and no one is trying to deceive anyone, it's just a matter of projection. What it is? The basic principle of this effect is the cylindrical Mercator projection. The thing isthe fact that the scale, if used on the map, changes downwards in the direction from the poles to the equator. This is what misleads people. Simply put, the real real scale of countries and continents will be only at the equator. But those areas of land that are closer to the poles will receive the greatest distortion.

Projection Reality

Of course, the method reflected in most maps has big flaws, but it is the most accurate one available. There are several methods for reflecting the projection of the world map, for example, the one that Wagner came up with. Its essence is that the earth can be reflected on a large oval with sharp corners at the top and bottom. There is also a Goode projection, but its appearance is more difficult to explain, it is presented below.

The familiar Varner projection

Unusual size facts

As already mentioned, the farther from the equator, the larger the territory, the stronger the distortion. As a striking example, we can use the well-known island of Greenland. If you take its contours and move around the map, decreasing and increasing taking into account the change in scale, then all delusions will dispel. If you look at a traditional atlas, you get the impression that the island is the size of South America. When moving the projection, you can see, but Greenland is nine times smaller than this continent.

projection distortion

If you approach from the other side, namely, take a country close to the equator, for example China, and visually compare its contours, taking into account the change in scale, then the real size of the country in comparison with the map when movingright in the center of the "globe" this state will not change much, like the United States. That's the whole logic of moving projections.

Russia on the map

Of course, the citizens of the largest country in the world will be interested to know what its actual size is. Despite all the changes and distortions, Russia has been and remains the largest state in the world, its area is 17,125,191 km2. But the second place is occupied by Canada, but it is half as much. But even despite this, due to the distance from the equator, the real size of the country will still be perceived incorrectly.

Everything is known in comparison

If you compare absolutely all countries with each other, you can learn a lot of new things and calculate some interesting facts. Here are the most interesting of them:

  1. The largest country in the world is almost half the size of Africa.
  2. Australia, when moving further from the equator, will not only change its shape, but also visually cover all European countries and part of coastal waters.
  3. Antarctica is actually about 3 times larger than the US, but also half the size of Africa.
  4. If we compare India and Russia, the difference will not be very big, but still noticeable.
  5. Only five large African countries would be needed to cover almost the entire area of ​​Russia, namely Algeria, Sudan, Libya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chad.

Which are the biggest countries in the world

If you set all countries at the latitude of the equator, then it will be quite easy to compare them. The first place, of course, will be taken by Russia - itthe largest, but the distribution of the population over its territory is not very practical. Canada will be second in terms of the number of square meters, but China is on its heels. Many people know that the USA is one of the largest countries, it is in the top five and is the penultimate one.

But few people are aware that Brazil can also compete for the title of a giant country. Australia is also among the states that can be called the largest, but it is also the mainland.

Habitual projection

You can list and compare endlessly, it's easier to take and check the aspects of interest on your own. In the global network at the moment there is not even one service that allows you to do this. You can find many facts about our planet that will not only be unusual, they will completely turn the worldview of a modern person who lives by standard education and stereotypes. You should not limit yourself, you need to develop comprehensively and then the world will sparkle with new colors, become more interesting.

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