New map shows what world REALLY looks like: Australia doesn’t even exist!

PICTURED: Hajime Narukawa’s innovative new map, showing the world as it really is. (Click to enlarge)

PICTURED: Hajime Narukawa’s innovative new map, showing the world as it really is. (Click to enlarge)

The traditional map of the world, known as the Mercator map, may be the most often seen image of our planet, but it is also fraught with problems, and is considered to be highly inaccurate. This is largely because of a distortion effect that occurs as a result of the flattening of the globe into a 2D image.

Land masses far to the north and south of the globe are distorted in this way, and appear larger than they actually are.

But more than four centuries later, a Japanese artist has solved this problem, designing a new map that uses an innovative technique to accurately represent the real sizes and positions of Earth’s land masses.

By separating the globe into 96 triangles, before flattening and transferring them to a tetrahedron, Hajime Narukawa was able to “unfold” them into a perfectly accurate rectangular map.

The differences to the traditional, inaccurate map, are striking.

“People tend to think of places like Greenland and Europe as being reasonably large,” said Narukawa. “But actually, they’re quite small. Also, Australia doesn’t exist.”

He pointed to an empty expanse of ocean where Australia is traditionally thought to be.

“Similarly, people think of our country of Japan as being a long mainland with islands off it, but in reality, it’s some kind of giant, hideous swirl.”

Other differences include South America being separated into two separate continents, attached by only thin stretches of land, as well as the Red Sea appearing as “giant, gaping maw, looking ready to swallow the Middle East.”

Narukawa says that, while it might unsettle some people, this is undoubtedly the most accurate rendition of the world humans have seen to date.

Narukawa’s map comes just days after NASA clarified that while many think of Earth as a sphere, from space it appears more like a rhombus.