What the World May Come To: a Tetrahedron
"Who would not pity the poet who has to write and make his rhymes about some bold Sir Francis Drake’s brave journey round the tetrahedron?"
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.
Notwithstanding the fact that celestial objects of a certain mass generally are spherical in shape, an article in My Magazine, dated May 1918 (and titled What the World May Come To: The School Maps As They May Be in Millions of Years to Come) predicts that the earth is spinning itself into a tetrahedron. The explanation, as one can imagine, is very dodgy. The accompanying picture of the globe is strange enough to be figured here.
The article concludes: “We may be sorry for the editors and poets in those days. It is pleasant to write of sailing round the globe, or of this spinning ball, but who would not pity the poet who has to write and make his rhymes about some bold Sir Francis Drake’s brave journey round the tetrahedron? We hope the League of Nations will rule the Tetrahedron well.”
Strange Maps #73
Got a strange map? Let me know at email@example.com.
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