Reading Time: 3 minutes

Please cancel my appointments for the rest of the month, take the phone off the hook, and don’t expect another blog entry until spring. I have found the website of my dreams and am going to live there for awhile. Someone please pay my rent, feed my children and satisfy my wife until I return.

Maps absorb me like a…what’s something really absorbent…like a sponge-like thing. In England I pored over the incredible Ordnance Survey maps for hours at a time.

I’ve always particularly loved the paradigm rattlers, like this


which makes the point that a Northerly orientation is arbitrary, having been selected, by the most astonishing coincidence, by Northern Hemisphereans, who apparently like it on top.

I was 18 when I first saw Joel Garreau’s “Nine Nations of North America” concept, from the book of the same name:


Now I’ve found a blog called STRANGE MAPS, and I have no further need of the outside world. In addition to the above, there are maps to compare the relative wealth of nations today


and comparisons throughout time:


Deaths in war since 1945:

deaths in war

There is a map of US states renamed for countries with similar GDPs:

states gdps

how the world would be if all the land were water and all the water land:


and what it’ll look like in 250 million years:

pangea ultima

…all with intelligent commentary and links. I’ve only scratched the surface. There’s Europe if the Nazis had won. A map of the United States from the Japanese point of view. A map of the U.S. with the former territories of Indian nations overlaid. World transit systems drawn as a global world transit map in the style of the London Underground. A color-coded map of blondeness in Europe and of kissing habits in France.

Plop a child of a certain type and age (about 10-16) in front of Strange Maps (or another called Worldmapper, where the resized world maps originate) and don’t expect a response when you call ’em for dinner. I can’t wait for my boy to get home.

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Dale McGowan is the author of Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, and Atheism for Dummies. He holds a BA in evolutionary anthropology and a PhD in music.