11 Map Overlays That Teach Real Geography

February 14, 2014

Conceived in 1569 as an aid to maritime navigation, Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator’s “Mercator projection” has skewed our perceptions of the world in which we live for centuries. While the linear scale is equal, it distorts the size and shape of large objects, stretching the poles to the point that the projection is practically unusable beyond 70 degrees north or south.

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Map Overlays Russia

Map Overlays Africa

Map Overlays Texas

Map Overlays Greenland

Map Overlays Italy

Map Overlays Alaska

Map Overlays South America

Map Overlays UK

Map Overlays Australia

Map Overlays Antarctica

Map Overlays Monaco

By using rhumb lines, or lines of constant compass bearing that are good for direction, the Mercator projection became the standard mental and projection map for most seafaring Westerners, inflating the size–and potentially egos–of colonial powers over time. While it has long been shown that the Mercator projection distorts rather than projects geographical truths, it still appears from time to time in classrooms, textbooks, and a Mercator variation is still used by Google Maps, Bing Maps, Mapquest and Yahoo Maps in online street mapping. Thankfully, the Mercator myths have been dispelled by the folks at Business Insider with these incredible map overlays.

In The Garden Of The Thai Dragon

February 13, 2014

Utilizing footage taken from Bangkok, Pai, Mae Hong Son and the Thailand/Myanmar border region, Justin Heaney recreates the volatile and visceral experience that is a trip to Thailand for viewers the world over.

Lake Kaindy: Kazakhstan’s Submerged Forest

February 11, 2014

In Lake Kaindy, trees poke from the water’s surface like misplaced toothpicks, presenting an intriguing portrait for visitors and tourists. This incredible sunken forest was created in 1911 as a byproduct of the 7.7 magnitude Kebin earthquake. The earthquake, which destroyed more than 700 buildings, triggered a massive limestone landslide that formed a natural dam. Over time, rainfall and water flowed into the area, covering the trees that grew there.

Aerial View of the Lake

Source: Panoramio

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Pakistan’s Incredible Cocooned Trees

February 10, 2014

In 2010, ten years’ worth of rainfall poured onto Pakistani cities and villages in less than a week, completely ravaging the affected areas. While this flood was like others in many unfortunate ways–people were displaced, homes were ruined, rivers surged—one surprising consequence was entirely unique to the area. Once the rain stopped, people began noticing cocooned trees covered by sticky webs.

Flood Victims in Pakistan

Source: Bise World

Severe Flooding Causes Cocooned Trees

Source: Daily Mail

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The Mysterious Cat’s Eye Nebula

February 8, 2014
Cats Eye Nebula

Source: NASA

Nestled three thousand light years away in the cosmos is the Cat’s Eye Nebula, or NGC 6543. The nebula was first discovered by William Herschel in 1786, and given its strange structure and properties remains one of the most curious nebulae known to humankind.

10 Of The World’s Most Unbelievable Places

February 8, 2014

Whether natural or man-made, it’s difficult to deny the fantastic beauty and variety the world has to offer. Here are 10 of the most visually stunning and down-right unbelievable places on Earth:

Unbelievable Places Giants Causeway

Source: Imgur

Unbelievable Places: Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway is the most popular tourist attraction of Northern Ireland, and consists of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that are a result of a volcanic eruption. Voted the fourth greatest wonder of the United Kingdom, the Causeway was declared a Natural National Reserve in 1987. Beginning at the cliff’s foot, the columns form stepping stones that disappear into the sea. The majority are hexagonal in shape, and the tallest reach a height of 39 feet. Those who are familiar with classic rock may recognize this location from the cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy” album.

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