Another brilliant graphic that illustrates the true size of Africa (click on the map to see the full sized version).
This graphic very visually demonstrates that Africa alone is larger (in terms of area) than China, USA, India, Mexico, and much of Europe and South America. The power of this graphic and the surprise that it creates for readers, is based on the deep impressions made by the Mercator projection used in most maps that distorts the true size of many countries. This projection, published in 1569, was immediately useful because it depicts a line of constant bearing as a straight line, which is handy for marine navigation. The drawback is that it distorts the shapes and areas of large land masses, and the distortion gets progressively worse as you get closer to the poles.