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10 Information-Packed Maps About Random Things

It turns out that maps are useful for a lot more than geography. These maps give you a whole lot of information you didn't know you needed until now. If you think the world's a pretty interesting place and want to learn more about it, keep on reading. Or head to r/MapPorn for way more maps than you could ever need.

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  • 1

    A Map of Pangea With Current International Borders

    picture of pangea on globe with current international borders
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    Via Reddit

    Pangea is the name of the supercontinent that all the current countries were once a part of, late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras. It began to break apart around 175 million years ago due to the movement of the Earth's tectonic plates (which are still moving slowly today). The separation was a slow process that happened gradually over millions of years, with the countries eventually ending up where they are today. 

    After the separation of the countries, the flow of the winds and ocean currents changed the climate dramatically. Recent studies have found fossils of plants and animals that do not belong in the climate they were found in, suggesting that the countries once had very different climates before the breaking up of Pangea. As we can see in the map, what was once one large continent broke away into many different countries, all which have different climates today. 


  • 2

    The Most and Least Happy Countries Around The World

    colorful map indicating the happiness levels of each country
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    Via Reddit

    Scientists have been trying to measure happiness for centuries. There are different methods for measuring happiness, but the most commonly used method is the Cantril ladder method, where people think of themselves on a ladder with the bottom being extremely unhappy and the top being as happy  as possible. 

    The 2018 and 2019 happiness indexes both put Finland at the top of the list, with Denmark, Norway and Iceland coming next. Some experts think that economic freedom correlates with happiness, others say that public policies that focus on eradicating poverty and supporting the middle class makes people happy. But many more argue that happiness can't be measured. However, scientists have found that happy people have a few things in common. And it definitely isn't social media


  • 3

    Spread of the Word 'Sugar' Across the Old World

    a grey and white map showing the spread of the word sugar across the old world
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    Via Reddit

    Language is not static. Words are changing, being borrowed, being forgotten and remembered, and shifting as people and the world change. This map is a great example of how the word 'sugar' has spread across the world. The main reasons for words changing are trade, migration and travel. As people travel to new countries, they borrow and adopt new words. The word is then used, changed, and made into a new word for that language (as seen in the map). Languages are also adapting as humans change through new technologies, new experiences and new products. The word 'sugar' has traveled a long from from its origin. 


  • 4

    Countries With Heads of States With Beards

    grey and black map showing the countries today where heads of state have facial hair
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    Can you think of a US president in your lifetime who had a beard? If you're reading this, I'm guessing that you weren't alive when the last president with facial hair was around - William Howard Taft in 1913. Since then, no presidents have sported any kind of facial hair in the US, but this isn't the case in other countries, as you can see on the map. Many countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe have heads of States with facial hair. This is consistent with their historical attitudes towards facial hair; in Lebanon, Egypt, China, Rome and Iran, ancient artifacts have depicted the beauty and reverence regarding facial hair. These traditions still stand strong today. 

    In the west, facial hair went out of fashion until around the 1850s, when facial hair saw an upsurgence and began to be associated with masculinity and male courage. After this, facial hair in the west went in and out of style until the hipster movement started in the 2010 decade, bringing beards and mustaches back into the spotlight. However, facial hair is still not considered respectable in western governments today. 


  • 5

    The True Size of Australia

    colorful map showing all the countries that can fit inside Australia
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    Australia is the 6th largest country in the world, measuring 2,969,907 square miles. As you can see in this map, it's size is equal to the collective size of over 20 countries. However, much of Australia is uninhabitable for humans. In fact, a huge percentage of the population (which currently sits at 25.4 million) lives in cities on the coastlines of Australia, mainly in the East and Southeast. For example, nearly a third of the population lives in Sydney and it's surrounding areas, 79% of people from the state of Victoria live in Melbourne, and 72% of people living in the huge state of Western Australia live in Perth, with the rest scattered over the 1.5 square miles of land in the state. Most of the country is considered 'the outback,' which is not inhabitable for humans. 


  • 6

    Gay Rights Across the World

    blue and red map showing the different attitudes towards homosexuality around the world
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    Via Reddit

    The attitude towards gay rights differs vastly in each country. While gay marriage is legal in many places in the world, there are still countries where being gay is a capital offense. Religion seems to be a major indicator to whether gay people will be respected or punished, with many of the countries that practice Islam as their main religion banning gay activities. In some countries, homosexuality is legal but living as openly gay is made very difficult. For more information see the Business Insider page about gay rights around the world. 


  • 7

    Potential Leaving EU Names

    yellow and blue map showing the possible leaving EU names for other countries
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    When Brexit was being planned, someone either thought really hard about what name they could give the movement, or it just popped into someone's head as a joke and stuck. Either way, Brexit is a catchy and honestly brilliant name, so of course someone made a map of all the potential leaving European Union names for the other countries of Europe. Personally, 'Quitaly' is the winner for me, but it's a subjective matter. 


  • 8

    How-To Questions Each State Googles More Frequently Than Any Other State

    purple map showing the most googled how to questions across america
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    Via Reddit

    This map could really give us an insight into the differences between Americans. In truth, America is a huge country with many contrasting beliefs and ideologies. So it makes sense that people would Google different how-to questions. Texas seems to have some mortality issues, Pennsylvania has some big ambitions, and Mississippi... doesn't. If you're interested in seeing the most Googled questions ever, see Mondovo's website. It's surprising. 


  • 9

    Something Is Missing...

    picture of fried chicken shaped to be the world map but it's missing new zealand
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    Ignoring the fact that this map is made out of fried chicken and isn't going to be 1000% accurate, there is one obvious country missing. I'll give you a hint: Lord of the Rings and lots of sheep... nope? It's New Zealand, of course! There is actually a hilarious and long history of New Zealand being left out of maps. There's even a Reddit thread called Maps Without NZ

    So what's the deal? There are lots of tiny islands that could easily be forgotten, but New Zealand seems to be bearing all the brunt. The reason? It's mixed. Some people say there isn't enough room on the map (um...really?). Others just forget about it. But New Zealand is a pretty cool country (and this is an Australian writing, so saying that means something). So cool that their government is in on the joke about not existing. Way to go New Zealand. You're too cool for the maps anyway. 


  • 10

    A Map of the Camouflage Pattern in Different Countries

    world map showing the different camouflage patterns that each country uses
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    Each country has it's own climate, environment and native plants. So it makes sense that the military camouflage patterns should vary to fit in to their surroundings. However, as each country developed it's own unique pattern for blending in, it also became a way to distinguish each country and identify nationhood. Camopedia is an encyclopedia of the different camouflage patterns used across the world. 

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