Blown out of proportion.

Surrealist Map of the World, 1929

Surrealist Map of the World, 1929.
From a special issue of Variétés, a Brussels-based magazine, entitled Le Surréalisme en 1929.

The Surrealists amused themselves by creating a map that puts imperialist powers in their place. For example: other than Alaska, the United States are invisible; mainland Britain is dwarfed by Ireland; Easter Island looms over a tiny Australia; and only two cities are marked, Paris and Constantinople, with the rest of France and Turkey missing.

More than anything, this is a map of the Surrealists’ cultural ideals. A 1925 Surrealist declaration stated, “Even more than patriotism – which is a quite commonplace sort of hysteria, though emptier and shorter-lived than most – we are disgusted by the idea of belonging to a country at all, which is the most bestial and least philosophic of the concepts to which we are all subjected… Wherever Western civilization is dominant, all human contact has disappeared, except contact from which money can be made – payment in hard cash.”

Quoted from Katharine Harmon, You Are Here. Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination.


World Map extinct species

World map with territories re-sized according to the variable “extinct species”.
From Worldmapper.

Extinction is when there is no reasonable doubt that the last individual of a species has died. Shown here is where over 700 species known to have become extinct last existed. Included are mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and plants.

Many more species recorded as recently becoming extinct lived in the United States than anywhere else, followed by the United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda and Mauritius.

A large number of species live in Ecuador. The Galapagos Islands, where Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution, are part of Ecuador. Many islands are prominent because islands are often home to unique species.

Territory size shows the proportion of species worldwide that became extinct between 1500 current era and 2004, that became extinct there.

Quoted from Worldmapper.


4 thoughts on “Blown out of proportion.

  1. The problem with this map is that it’s based on national boundaries, which obviously have nothing to do with species’ locations. Thus the entire USA is bloated, even though the extinctions may have happened in certain isolated spots. It doesn’t make sense for Alaska to look bigger because a species in the Southeast USA has gone extinct. You’d have to base this map on habitats or ecosystems for it to make any sense.

  2. Pingback: surrealist map « coromandal

  3. I’d like to see a map on “Species discovered” out of Worldmapper. There’s lots of that around, but strangely we never see out of Worldmapper.

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