See How New South Wales Shrinks as Australia Grows
Now one of the smaller states, it once covered half the continent
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
For a long time, Australia was known as New Holland, after the country that first explored the island/continent. The British, who eventually colonised it, at first adopted the name, but settled on an adaptation of the term Terra Australis for their new colony. That name refers to the giant continent in the South that was thought by pre-exploration geographers in the Old World to counterbalance the land-mass of the then-known world (see #575).
The name of the country might very well have been New South Wales. At present, NSW is just one of six states (1) that compose the Commonwealth of Australia – and a relatively small state at that – but NSW at one time covered almost half of the country. At that time it was the only British colony on Australian soil, making it at least plausible that the name might have expanded with British sovereignty.
But that was not to be. As this map (the origin of which I unfortunately haven’t recorded) shows, NSW has steadily shrunk in size as other states and territories emerged or were split off from the ‘mother colony’. The map, dating from 1904, shows the evolution of NSW (and the nameless other half of the country) to Australia.
For good measure: the map denotes the situation as of the first date mentioned, and up until the second date.
Strange Maps #21
Got a strange map? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(1) To be precise: six federated states, namely New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. To be complete: also a number of territories, of which three internal, i.e. on the Australian mainland (the Australian Capital Territory, the Jervis Bay Territory and the Northern Territory); and seven external (Ashmore and Cartier Islands, the Australian Antarctic Territory, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, and Norfolk Island).
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Two massive clouds of dust in orbit around the Earth have been discussed for years and finally proven to exist.
- Hungarian astronomers have proven the existence of two "pseudo-satellites" in orbit around the earth.
- These dust clouds were first discovered in the sixties, but are so difficult to spot that scientists have debated their existence since then.
- The findings may be used to decide where to put satellites in the future and will have to be considered when interplanetary space missions are undertaken.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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