19 Maps That Offer an Exhaustive Answer to “What’s Going on With This World?”

In school geography lessons, we had to study the most boring things: the landscape, the population numbers in different countries, the sizes of the seas and oceans. But who would have thought that maps could’ve been way more interesting than an adventure movie? All you have to do is look at them from a different angle — you will see some unexpected facts: French people don’t trust vaccines, there is a trash island in the ocean, and the Chinese print amazing vertical maps.

We at Bright Side are interested in everything. And these maps, that tell us more about the life of our planet, are no exception.

1. The countries where people don’t trust vaccines

The Wellcome Trust foundation has done a global study and found out that modern parents don’t believe that vaccines are effective. The leaders of this movement are Liberia (28%), France (18%), and Nigeria (16%).

You can see the interactive map here.

2. Chinese vertical world map

3. Population densities on the China-Russia border

4. Radioactive cloud that moved through Europe after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster

5. “21,212 km from Cape Town, South Africa to Vladivostok, Russia is the longest walking distance I’ve found on Google Maps. Over 14 months of walking at 10 hours a day through some of the most dangerous places in the world. Who’s up for a hike?”

6. Deforestation differences between Belize and Guatemala create a straight line along their border that is visible from space.

7. NASA has made an interactive map of forest fires in the past 15 years.

8. The amazing depths of the Baikal lake

9. The length of school holidays in European countries (in weeks)

10. A minimalistic topographical map of Japan


11. World’s CO emissions because of forest fires

Carbon monoxide has no smell, color, or taste. But it is very toxic and in the long term, it is bad for the health of the planet’s population.

12. US watersheds

The visible part of the river is only a small part of a huge system. Every river has a watershed — the territory the river gets the water from. The small rivers flow underground and feed the big rivers we see.

13. Countries with heads of states with facial hair

14. Global distribution of penguins

15. A topographic map of Mars

16. In just 3 months, an arctic fox travels 2,175 mi (3,500 km) on snow and ice.

17. The number of metal bands per one million people

18. Shoreline lighthouses on the map of Europe

19. This is how the great pacific garbage patch formed.

Bonus: A really cool guide on how distorted map projections can be

In order to show the planet on a plain surface, cartographers use different types of projections. The human head is a great example of how the projections distort reality. Left to right, up and down: globular, orthographic, stereographic, and mercator head projections.

We had no idea that there were huge islands of trash in the ocean. Which map or which fact from this article shocked you? Maybe, you can add something else to our list?

Preview photo credit Luciantang / Reddit