Take a look at any world atlas today, and the chances are all you’ll see are a bunch of random shapes that appear to be countries, but what would you see if you took a closer look? Here are a few alternatives which the cartographers may not have realised after all.
For a country that has been synonymous with high fashion for many centuries, it seems appropriate that a map of Italy resembles an elegant, stylish boot. A killer heel with the town of Lecce in the centre is immediately recognisable, and is the toe. Unfortunately for those living in Sicily, the boot appears to be aiming a swift kick to the island!
The map of the UK is such a strange shape, and can be interpreted in many ways – rather like an analyst’s ink-blot test. However, the general consensus of opinion is that the mainland section (not including both Northern and Southern Ireland) appears to look like a witch in a tall hat riding on a pig. The county of Norfolk appears to be the pig’s rump while Wales can be identified as its head, with Cornwall and Devon appearing to be the pig’s front legs.
People in Montana have a reputation for getting on with their lives and keeping themselves to themselves, so it’s a tad ironic that the map of the state appears to show a face peering into someone else’s business. The chin, lips and nose are all clearly defined, although what the face is actually looking at isn’t clear. The residents of neighbouring Idaho should be careful however, because they definitely appear to be under scrutiny!
The traditional map of Russia doesn’t particularly resemble anything specific, but if it’s rotated it takes on a whole new persona – that of some kind of two-footed dragon. The left foot is the area around Vladivostok, close to the border with North Korea, while Murmansk and the area close to Finland could be seen as the right ear of the creature.
To some people, the map of Tasmania looks like nothing particularly special, but there are some who might say it looks like – there’s no subtle way to say this – a lady’s, ahem, special area. This interpretation has resulted in the production of various t-shirts featuring the map being used as the bottom half of a bikini. In fact, with the simple addition of two lines, it’s easy to make Tasmania look like a thong: