Can’t find the Middle East on a map? Here’s why.

Invented in 1902 by an American, the 'Middle East' is all over the place.

  • If the Middle East is easier to find in the news than on the map, there's a good reason for that.
  • The term is a fairly recent invention with myriad definitions and applications.
  • In some versions, it extends further west than Ireland and as far north as Copenhagen.
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A world map of private islands (some are a steal!)

There's something special about islands - in some cases, it's the price tag

Image: TD Architects
  • In fiction or reality, islands exert a special attraction on the imagination
  • For the ultra-rich, owning an island is the ultimate luxury
  • However, some islands are affordable even with a modest budget
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Greater Adria, a lost continent hiding in plain sight

Most of it was eaten by Earth's mantle, but scraped-off bits survive in the Alps and other mountain ranges.

Image: Utrecht University
  • Following a 10-year survey, geologists discover a lost continent in the Mediterranean.
  • 'Greater Adria' existed for 100 million years, and was probably "great for scuba diving".
  • Most of it has been swallowed up by Earth's mantle, but bits of it survive.
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'The West' is, in fact, the world's biggest gated community

A review of the global "wall" that divides rich from poor.

Image: TD Architects
  • Trump's border wall is only one puzzle piece of a global picture.
  • Similar anxieties are raising similar border defenses elsewhere.
  • This map shows how, as a result, "the West" is in fact one large gated community.
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Behold Sicily's Mount Etna — its volcanic summit is the world's only decipoint

The summit of Europe's most active volcano is also the world's only decipoint.

Image courtesy of Patrick McGranaghan
  • For millennia, Etna has been Europe's most active volcano.
  • The Sicilian mountain is also the world's only decipoint.
  • Ten municipalities meet at its summit — at least on a map.
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