Walk into any school classroom and you will likely see a flat, rectangular map of the world sprawled across the wall. Generations of children have grown up learning that this projection is what Earth looks like. But does this flat map really reflect what our planet is like?

Though designed with the best of intentions — to provide a detailed and coherent projection of Earth — flat maps are far from accurate; some areas look far bigger than they really are, others appear much smaller, and distances between various land masses are misrepresented.


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