Pinsonia, An Imaginary Province of Brazil

Nobody knows why a map of Pinsonia was included in an otherwise accurate atlas

Cândido Mendes de Almeida (1818-1881) was a Brazilian journalist, politician and author who in 1873 published the Atlas do Império do Brasil (‘Atlas of the Brazilian Empire’).

Included in that atlas is this map of the province of Pinsonia. But at the time there was no such state. And whether Mendes de Almeida’s map was a serious proposal or merely fanciful, such a province hasn’t materialized yet.

In this map, Pinsonia occupies the northern part of the present-day state of Pará, where the Amazonian rainforest meets the Atlantic Ocean. It borders French Guyana, which lies to the west of its northernmost extremity.

“The idea of creating Provinces in the Amazon was not strange at that time (or even today),” writes professor Leonardo Monasterio, who sent me this map. “In 1876, Colonel Fausto de Souza proposed dividing Brazil into 40 Provinces, and Pinsonia would have been one of them.”

Mr Monasterio is Brazilian himself, but unfortunately can’t provide any further background. In fact, he’s a bit puzzled by the inclusion of this fictional state in Mendes de Almeida’s atlas, which otherwise enjoys a reputation for accuracy. Anybody who can provide some more information on Pinsonia is more than welcome to do so.

Strange Maps #150

Got a strange map? Let me know at 

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
  • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
  • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Keep reading Show less

Scientists claim the Bible is written in code that predicts future events

The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.

Michael Drosnin
Surprising Science
  • Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
  • The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
  • Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
Keep reading Show less

Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.