What is something most people don't know about Africa?

That size DOES matter. Because of the distortion of typical maps, most people are unaware of how GIGANTIC Africa is. I promise you’ll be surprised. Many of you are not as big as you think you are. To demonstrate… and enlighten, we will look at country sizes as they appear on globes, instead of on maps. So, if we look at the continent of Africa, and just slide other countries of the globe, on top of Africa, we find that we can fit all these other countries into Africa.

Let’s start with the continental United States. That fills up just a small part of Africa. Next, let’s slide all of China into there. Still plenty of room left. Now add all of India. Have we filled Africa yet? Nope. Okay, how about Western Europe? Not full yet. Add Japan onto Madagascar. What’s left? Oh, we have all of Western Africa still empty. Okay, we can slide Mexico into Africa as well. We’re getting there, but we STILL haven’t filled all of Africa yet! Okay, let’s finally throw in all of Eastern Europe. Yes! At last! We have filled Africa!

Driving from New York to California, would barely get you into the heart of Africa, driving south from Egypt. Same thing with a drive from one end of China, to the other. Africa is ENORMOUS! Although we all know that Africa is a continent, and not a country, for various cultural and social reasons, “westerners” tend to often think of Africa as a whole, instead of 54 countries. Add to that, the very misleading world maps most of us see (which make northern countries look much, much bigger than they actually are), and this gives us a false outlook on the geography of Africa. Which, in turn, makes it more difficult to appreciate the immense number of different cultures that could exist on a landmass that is so huge.

As a bonus… here are a couple other size comparisons. Let’s look at just one African country… Algeria. Most people… at least, certainly most Americans, barely give Algeria a thought. “Just some small country in Africa”. Well… let’s see how small it really is:

Wow! Look at that. It covers the entire central United States! Who knew?!

To show how much distortion is caused by our most common maps, this shows how much the perceived size of a country changes, as you move it further away, or closer to, the equator:

Places like Canada, Greenland, or Russia are all tremendously mis-sized on typical maps. Only a globe can give you true information. And most of us don’t own globes, and most likely haven’t spent a whole lot of time studying the one or two globes we have seen in a classroom at school.

So, there you go… the REAL story of how big you are.

As a parting comment… I have to bring attention to a news story I’ve been reading about over the past couple weeks. It seems that an alarming number of American NBA (basketball) players are suddenly coming out as believers in a “Flat Earth”. The latest to claim himself a believer is Shaquille O’Neal (although he now claims to have been joking, pretending to be stupid, and encouraging others is not the brightest move either). To be honest, this news makes me a bit sick to my stomach. Such ignorance is beyond belief. America is a “first-world” country. We have access to good education. We like to consider ourselves as an intelligent country. The fact that this handful of mostly college educated people has come out as believing the Earth is flat, can only mean there are many more people here that believe the same, who just haven’t publicly announced it. It’s absolutely frightening, disappointing and shameful. I can only shake my head. Come on, people!! What the hell? Your mothers must’ve raised you better than to be a dumb-ass, for Pete’s sake.

Sorry… I had to get that off my chest… since we were talking about globes.

Anyway… back to the point! Yes, Africa is much larger than you may have known. Why is this important to know? Well, for the simple reason that it never hurts to be educated about the world we live on. To me, that’s an important enough reason, on its own.

This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.

Can you imagine that Africa is that large? Which comparison seemed the most shocking?

#Geography #Quora


What are your thoughts on this subject?
Ilias Tsiabardas
I live in Africa Namely in Ethiopia for Almost 9 years and Believe me is Very Big Country ,and I know Africa is Very Big Continent !!!!!
Jun 1, 2021 7:52PM
Julie Jordan
How does it compare in size to Australia ?
Oct 6, 2020 6:11PM
It is amazing to see how little people know about the world. Of course I was educated in the 40s and 50s.
Aug 3, 2020 11:59PM
Great learning the size of Africa
Mar 25, 2020 6:53PM
Dinorah Lozano
Feb 18, 2020 9:35PM
Ian Harris
Many thanks for this very informative information!
Dec 18, 2019 2:00AM
Thank you, very informative!
Oct 29, 2019 6:59PM
Love new knowledge very impressive
Aug 5, 2019 7:21PM
Dan Drinkall
I was impressed !
Aug 5, 2019 12:24AM
Beverley Samson
Excellent it is high time that people realize that Africa is not. Insignificant and that its peoples opinion also matters To whom ever thought about drawing the attention to the world that we are here on a big continent thank you. It is a refreshing change we are on a continent whose opinion matters
Jun 19, 2019 4:02PM
Patricia Benjamin
Quite informative 👍; thanks 🙏 for sharing.
Jun 13, 2019 10:45PM
Never knew that it was that large!
Jun 7, 2019 7:46PM
How can you forget Alaska? Hawaii is a freebie. Africa is gigantic!!!
May 31, 2019 4:48PM
Raymond Cardona
I very much enjoyed your article. Even, one such as myself who knows a lot of geography learned new info today. Thanks very much. Bonnie from Canada
May 10, 2019 5:54PM
Lynda Daley
Thanks for that information, very interesting. I have seen a similar thing done with Europe over Australia.
Apr 24, 2019 7:40PM

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