167 - Gales in the Atlantic, Gaels in the North Sea

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On 23 July 1977, this map appeared in Krazy Comic, a short-lived (Oct ’76 – Apr ’78) British comic magazine. Judging by the colours alone, this is pretty much your standard atlas relief chart, green being low-lying land and ever brighter colours indicating higher altitudes (and differing hues of blue showing underwater elevations). But it’s not an ordinary map. Something funny happened to the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. The largest two of the British Isles have switched place, supposedly after a gale swept the Gaels of Ireland over what is sometimes referred to as the ‘mainland’ and dropped the Emerald Isle in the North Sea somewhere between England and Holland. More has happened to the map – indicated by the mode of projection indicated at the top left hand corner of the map: comical, not conical.

  • just about where Dublin should be is the fabled Leprechaun Leap, most likely a fanciful name referring to the shamrock-wearing ginger-haired magical midgets that populate Irish jokes, fairy-tales and stereotypes.
  • The Irish Sea, normally located between Dublin and Wales, now is to be found between the Firth of Forth and the mouth of the Shannon.
  • Off the coast of East Anglia, there are some suspicious looking Ink Blobs. Maybe just another oil spill?
  • The Cap Gris Nez, at 34 km distance France’s closest point near Britain, is renamed Frogslegs Leap. Also note that Great Britain has been towed our further into the sea; no way that Dover is only 34 km from France.
  • In southern England, the South Downs have been rebranded as the South Ups, to further distinguish them from the North Downs.
  • A place called The Steppes can be found on the river Ouse.
  • Near there is The Wash, for comical purposes accompanied by The Soap.
  • The Mississippi winds its way north through the heart of England.
  • The Wise and Morecambe Bay is renamed to include both comedians.
  • The aforementioned Irish Sea is rechristened to give the Welsh their own body of water: the Welsh Sea.
  • The place of Ireland is taken up by the Indian Ocean, making us wonder what may lie beyond the western confines of this map…
  • This map was kindly provided by Adrian Bailey.

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