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Strange Maps Posts

Cartographic curiosities

1 42 46

Strange Maps

64 - Sannikov Land, an Arctic Phantom Island

Missing
over 7 years ago

In 1811, the Russian merchant and explorer Yakov Sannikov reported seeing a ‘bluish fog’ to the northeast of the New Siberian Islands. In 1886 and 1893, fellow Russian explorer Eduard Toll also sighted what many by then presumed to be an as yet undiscovered island, provisionally named ‘Sannikov ...

Strange Maps

63 - A Map to the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine

Missing
over 7 years ago

The Superstition Mountains to the east of Phoenix, AZ reportedly hold a legendary motherlode of gold known as the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine. Truth and fiction about this mine have been unrevokably mixed up through the years, producing 62 varieties of the legend. But before we get into those, here are ...

Strange Maps

61 - United Shapes of America

Missing
over 7 years ago

This canvas by artist Kim Dingle doesn’t look like a map, more like a herd of cows. But actually it’s a collection of maps. The artist asked teen-aged school kids in Las Vegas to draw their country in the shape they thought it had. It’s one of the strange maps in a book called ‘You Are Here’, which ...

Strange Maps

60 - Madha and Nahwa

Missing
over 7 years ago

These names sound like they’re out of Arabian Nights – which is pretty close. Madha and Nahwa are the names of two territories on the Arabian peninsula which up until 15 minutes ago I had never before heard of. Together, they form a type of enclave/exclave complex which I would like to call The ...

Strange Maps

59 – A German Map of the Empire of Love

Missing
over 7 years ago

In the 18th century, sentimental cartography was very much à la mode, with this map as one of the finer examples. ‘Das Reich der Liebe’ (‘the Empire of Love’) by Johann Gottlob Immanuel Breitkopf, was published in Leipzig in 1777. In a brief explanatory, it describes how pilgrims set out from the ...

Strange Maps

58 - It's a Pig's World

Missing
over 7 years ago

Pigs (or hogs, or swine, or Sus – the Latin name for the species) are  omnivorous mammals of Eurasian origin, closely related to hippopotami and generally more known for being tasty than clever – although they are pretty intelligent, often considered on a par with dogs. The pig is nevertheless ...

Strange Maps

56 - The Vinland Map

Missing
over 7 years ago

The Vinland Map was discovered in 1957, bound up with a manuscript of undisputed antiquity, the Historia Tartorum. The map supposedly is a 15th century copy of a 13th century world map, showing the known parts of Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as an unknown land across the Atlantic Ocean labelled ...

Strange Maps

55 - A Tourist Map of Gotham

Missing
over 7 years ago

Most people know that Batman lives in Gotham City, and that this fictional place is a barely disguised version of New York City – so much so that in real life, NYC is sometimes nicknamed Gotham. Here’s a few lesser known facts about Batman’s home town: The place-name ‘Gotham’ has an ...

Strange Maps

54 - Tarzan and the Lost Empire

Missing
over 7 years ago

Published in 1912, Tarzan of the Apes was the first of 24 adventure books written by Edgar Rice Burroughs featuring the son of a British lord and lady raised by Great Apes in Africa. The protagonist’s English name is John Clayton, his title Lord Greystoke – but he’s better known by is ape-name ...

Strange Maps

53 - Ever been gerrymandered?

Missing
over 7 years ago

The painter Gilbert Stuart was inspired by the awkward shape of an electoral district on a map he saw in a newpaper editor’s office. He decorated the snake-shaped district with a head, a set of wings and claws, making it out to be some kind of antediluvian monster. “That will do for a salamander ...

Strange Maps

51 - A Colour Map of Utopia

Utopia
over 7 years ago

“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at”, said Oscar Wilde (in his 1891 essay ‘The Soul of Man Under Socialism’), so I suppose this blog can’t do without one either. ‘Utopia’ is a Greek neologism invented by the author of the eponymous satire, Thomas More ...

Strange Maps

50 - "Germany Must Die"

Missing
over 7 years ago

I’m on a bit of a roll here, as far as strange World War II maps are concerned. Here’s another one, again from the German side, found at this page of the website of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. This map is entitled “Deutschland muss sterben” (‘Germany Must Die’), in lettering reminiscent of ...