Why are we fascinated with maps? First created to help old-timey people navigate the globe – and still used today on our GPS systems to find the nearest Starbucks – maps definitely serve an important function. Sometimes, however, they simply serve to educate and entertain.
These maps show the relationships between states and countries, and fun facts we can best categorize as trivia. For example, do you have a burning desire to know when each country got a McDonald’s? There’s a map for that. What about an immediate need to know how many people in Asia are eating instant noodles? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
US States Smaller than LA County
With a population of over 10 million people, LA County is larger than over 40 of the 50 United States. States that do happen to rival LA County’s population include Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Florida, and New York. California’s overall population is also larger, at almost 40 million people when including LA County, and 30 million people without it.
Countries With Red in Their Flags
Red must be one of the world’s favorite colors, as it’s featured in over 85% of all countries’ national flags, from the US and Mexico to Peru, Venezuela, Iceland, Belgium, Italy, Turkey, Vietnam, Madagascar, Indonesia, Singapore, and so many more! Blue and green are also common flag colors, as well as yellow, white, and black. Purple is the least used color on national flags, as it’s only used on 2 flags across the entire globe, those belonging to Dominica and Nicaragua.
North American Forests
Based on factors including climate and altitude, needle-leaved trees like pines and firs tend to grow in colder areas at higher elevations. Meanwhile, broad-leaved trees like oaks and maples are commonly found in warmer areas at lower elevations. There are about 1,000 tree species in North America, with 8% of the world’s total forest area in the United States alone.
China’s Population Density
The Heihe-Tengchong Line divides the country roughly in two, with 94% of the population living on the eastern half, per China’s 2015 census. For some perspective on China’s overall population, that six percent living in western China is still about 84 million people! Meanwhile, the remaining billion or so Chinese people primarily live in big eastern cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Shenzhen.
Antarctica if All the Ice Melted
Hopefully, this map never becomes a reality. Seals, penguins, and a host of other ice-based critters would lose a huge amount of their current hunting and breeding habitats, and of course, if all the ice on Antarctica melted, we’d be in for plenty of other problems as well.
Proximity to Grenada or Granada
Would you rather visit the Caribbean country Grenada or the Spanish city Granada? Or both?
Not too surprisingly, the country Grenada’s name most likely originated from Spanish explorers who first sailed there. The small island nation features some beautiful beaches and tasty spice tours, as well as charming port towns, lush rainforests, and breathtaking waterfalls.
Located in Spain’s southern Andalusia region, the Spanish city of Granada is home to some gorgeous historical sites and architecture. Also, tapas originated in the Andalusia area, so there’s bound to be plenty of delicious food to try here, as well as a few authentic flamenco dancing shows.
Number of High-Rises in Each US State
Honestly, this map really makes sense when you think about population densities. However, it’s still funny to see that a tiny east coast state like Delaware has more skyscrapers (23) than the much larger states of Montana, Wyoming, and New Mexico combined (20). Meanwhile, the largest US state, Alaska, has hardly any high-rises, while the tourist-heavy tiny islands of Hawaii have hundreds. Commercial real estate developers take note.
Countries That Fit Inside Australia
We knew Australia was big, but not 23 countries big! We especially love the detail that Australia’s southern island state Tasmania is represented by Denmark, even if Denmark’s shape is a little squished in order to fit. And we’re also impressed with how well Thailand matches the shape of Australia’s Cape York Peninsula.
Alaska’s Population Density
Most of Alaska boasts a population density of less than 1 person per square mile. That’s pretty lonely, so we can’t blame Alaskan residents for sticking primarily to the southern and coastal portions of the state. Also, the more north you go, the colder it gets!
The State Flowers of All 50 US States
We love this hand-painted floral map, with some of our favorite flowers being Texas’ bluebonnets, Ohio’s carnations, Alaska’s forget-me-nots, and Florida’s orange blossoms. You’re likely to recognize Hawaii’s hibiscus and Oklahoma’s roses, but have you ever seen Nebraska’s goldenrods or Pennsylvania’s mountain laurel? Arizona’s saguaros are actually the white flowers that grow on the saguaro cactus!
European Countries That Only Border One Country
Of Europe’s 44 countries, only 6 of them share a border with just 1 country. The countries are Portugal (bordering Spain), The United Kingdom and Ireland (bordering each other), Monaco (bordering France), Denmark (bordering Germany), Vatican City (bordering Italy), and San Marino (bordering Italy). Hopefully, they all make good neighbors, or else things could get a bit awkward.
Ice Hockey Teams in Africa
Africa has five countries with nationally recognized ice hockey teams. The teams are located in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Namibia, and South Africa. A few teams also exist in Libya, Egypt, and Kenya. Currently, there are no NHL players from the entire continent of Africa, which makes sense since the entire continent isn’t exactly known for cold weather.
India’s Many Languages
There are currently 121 languages each spoken by over 10,000 people throughout India, and then there are an additional 19,500-some languages and dialects spoken by smaller populations throughout the country. Based upon the total number of speakers, the most popular languages spoken in India include Hindi, Bengali, and Marathi.
Statue of Liberty Replicas Around the World
New York City may be home to the most famous version of the statue, but there are over 100 copies scattered around the globe, including over 30 replicas in France alone. Other replicas scattered around the globe can be found in countries such as Brazil, Norway, Ukraine, Israel, and Japan, with one of the most unique copies housed at Denmark’s Legoland and made up of – you guessed it – lots and lots of LEGO bricks.
Past and Present Habitats of Lions
We’re glad that lions remain in several sections of Africa, though it’s sad to see hardly any inhabit the Middle East and India today. Today, the largest concentration of lions can be found in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, located in Kenya and Tanzania.
Europe and Asia, as well as North America, also used to have lions – the Eurasian cave lion and the American lion, respectively – but both species went extinct a few thousand years ago.
Most Spoken Native American Languages in Each State
Navajo is the most common indigenous language spoken in the US, with other languages such as Yupik and Dakota (also known as Sioux) also fairly widespread. Interestingly enough, Navajo is listed as Hawaii’s most spoken Native American language, as the Hawaiian language is a part of the Malayo-Polynesian language branch.
Countries Britain Never Invaded
The map isn’t colored in much, and the list isn’t a very long one, as there have only been 22 countries Great Britain hasn’t invaded. They include Bolivia, Paraguay, Sweden, Chad, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia. With roughly 200 nations in the world today, that means the British Empire invaded 90% of the world at one point or another.
Best Selling Car in Each Country
Can we petition to start a global race where each country drives its best-selling car? Or maybe add some related auto racing competition to the Olympics? Also, we appreciate the patriotism of countries like the US, Italy, and Russia, whose most popular cars are also made (at least partially) in their own home countries.
Most Suitable Human Habitats in the World
Not surprisingly, the greyed-out areas are typically in arid, desert areas or icy, snow-prone areas, which is also why Antarctica is left off the bottom of this map. Can we also point out how surprisingly habitable Iceland is despite it being so north and, you know, being called ICE-land??
Y’all vs You Guys Throughout the US
As expected, “y’all” is typically more common throughout the South, though we would love to hear “youse” and “yinz” more often. Honestly, “you all” has a really great ring to it too.
Present Habitats of Flamingos
Wow, we can officially admit that we had no idea where flamingos came from. Who knew they had habitats on five out of the seven continents?
Also, real quick: can we acknowledge that this mapmaker completely missed the color-coding opportunity of making all the flamingo habitat areas bright pink on this map??
Speed Limits Around the World
In case you missed it, many miles of Germany’s Autobahn highway have no formal speed limit, and yet it’s actually considered one of the safest roads in the world. Meanwhile, some of the slowest speed limits in the world can be found in Bolivia, Greenland, Madagascar, and Papua New Guinea.
Origins of US States’ Names
The majority of the states get their names from English and Native American origins, while Rhode Island is the only state with a Dutch-based name.
However, Idaho’s name origins remain a mystery as it was once thought to be a Native American word. Upon further research, people couldn’t determine its true origins, so the name clearly stuck even if it was a potentially made-up word!
Father’s Day Around the World
Most countries tend to celebrate their dads in June or another summer month, though a couple of countries celebrate in the winter. Countries often spend the holiday in similar ways, including gifting dads with presents, cards, and some quality family time. In Thailand, children gift their fathers and grandfathers yellow Canna lilies, while in Brazil, families get together for a big barbeque.
Black Bears vs Bigfoot Sightings
Coincidence? We think not. If you’ve never seen a black bear stand and walk on its hind legs before, and you’re also prone to a vivid imagination, it’s easy to see why so many “bigfoot” sightings are common in black bear territory.
Or maybe, just maybe, Bigfoot lives among the black bears on purpose to confuse us all.
Driving on the Left or Right Side of the Road
As pictured, most countries drive on the RIGHT side of the road, which is also the CORRECT side. UK, South Africa, India, Australia, etc., you’re all LEFT and also all WRONG.
Countries That Have Hosted the Olympics
We find it a bit odd that Sweden and Finland have never hosted the winter games, while Norway has, and yet Norway has never hosted the summer games, while Sweden and Finland both have. Some of the other Olympic locations make much more sense, however, like Brazil, Mexico, and Australia only hosting the summer games.
US State Dinosaurs
We’re biased, but we think that every state should have its own official dinosaur. The fact that barely a dozen US states currently have one makes us sad, and technically, some of these are actually just state fossils that also happen to be dinosaurs.
Also, why has no state claimed the T-rex or the pterodactyl yet? Get it together, America! State dinosaurs are way cooler than official state birds or fish, and we’re pretty sure any third-grader having to learn this information would agree.
Countries with Coastal Capitals
How much do we want to bet that each of these countries has either a decent navy and/or a designated boat for their heads of state to travel in? “Water Force One” has a nice ring to it, and a beachside capital building or presidential residence sounds absolutely lovely.
Percentage of Indigenous People in the Americas
Bolivia, Peru, and Guatemala have the highest total indigenous populations in North and South America. Some of the largest indigenous groups in both Bolivia and Peru include the Aymaras and the Quechuas, while in Guatemala, the K’iche’ and the Kaqchikel are among the most common. All three countries have large Mestizo populations, or people with mixed European and indigenous descent.
Russia’s Population Density
This isn’t too surprising, as the eastern part of Russia is considered some of the least hospitable land on our Suitable Human Habitats map. As such, some of Russia’s largest cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, and Samara, are located on the western side of the country.
Cattle vs Humans in the US
Holy cow, that’s a lot of cows! South Dakota is the state with the most cattle per person in the US, with roughly 4 cows for every 1 human. Nebraska and Montana are close behind, with 3 and 2.5 cows each per every 1 person.
Metric vs Imperial Systems Around the World
The US, Liberia, and Myanmar are all underdogs on this one. The imperial system uses units of measurement including feet and miles, pints and gallons, and ounces and pounds. The metric system uses centimeters and kilometers, milliliters and liters, and grams and kilograms.
The Number of US Presidents Born in Each State
Who knew Virginia and Ohio were home to so many commanders-in-chief? Also, we’re surprised we haven’t had any presidents from Florida yet, while Hawaii has made the list.
Traditional African Fabrics
Most people have heard of Egyptian cotton, but what about Kente fabric from Ghana or Alindi fabric from Somalia? Each culture has its own distinctive technique, dyeing methods, style, and decorative vs. functional purposes for their cloth. Cotton is one of the most common fibers used for textiles, though silk, wool, raffia palm, and others are also used. Decoration can include bamboo, beaten bark, or shell inlay, as well as highly detailed embroidery and beadwork.
America’s Most Popular Cars
Vermont, what are you doing? No one else likes Imprezas! Also, it looks like the Nissan Altima is the unofficial car of the American South and Southwest, while the Midwest favors the Chevy Malibu and the Honda Accord dominates the East Coast.
Electricity Access in Africa
Thanks to infrastructure improvements and growing innovation, these percentages will increase with time. Currently, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Ghana, Gabon, Kenya, and South Africa are among Africa’s most developed countries, as well as some of their smaller island nations such as Seychelles and Mauritius.
Horror Movies Set in Each US State
You’ll be fine traveling throughout the US as long as you remember that all of these films are fictional. Well, except for the ones that are based on true stories. Yikes!
Oldest Soccer Clubs in Europe
We know it’s not American football, but the legacy of these clubs is pretty impressive. The oldest surviving football club in the world is the Sheffield Football Club in England, which has been going on since 1857.
How to Say “Banana” in Hispanic America
Some regions also call it “banano.” Whatever you call them, they’re delicious and a great source of potassium! Remember that plantains and bananas are two separate (though very similar) fruits, with plantains usually being larger and tougher.
Tired of your regular banana bread or banana nut muffins? Try Colombia’s bananos calados, a fried banana dessert, or banana fritters commonly made in Argentina and Uruguay.
Number of Serial Killer Victims Per US State
We’re probably not going to be visiting Washington DC anytime soon. That’s a surprisingly high number of victims for such a small area, especially since you’d think the US capital would have better police and security than most of the country.
A Cheese Map of Europe
Forget national landmarks. We want to go on a cheese-tasting road trip throughout Europe and try each and every one! The only important question then is when and where should we start?
Asia’s Instant Noodle Consumption Per Capita
A round of applause for South Korea on this map, as they’re the clear winner with an average of 79.8 servings of instant noodles per person per year. Impressive and delicious! No wonder Japan voted instant noodles as their best invention of the 20th century; having tasty, quick, and convenient food is truly genius.
Storms Around the World
The west coast of South America is certainly in a sweet spot. Also, note that monsoons are a different type of weather phenomenon entirely, so they were not included on this map. A monsoon is a season of windy weather, either accompanied by rain or draught, while hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones are usually large tropical storms with strong winds and heavy rain.
European Countries That Have Never Reached 35 Degrees Celsius
35 degrees Celsius translates to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, which means Iceland and Ireland rarely reach temperatures in the 90s. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Europe was 48.8 degrees Celsius (119.84 degrees Fahrenheit) in Athens, Greece in 1977. Reversely, the coldest temperature ever recorded in Europe was in Ust ‘Schugor, Russia in 1978, at negative 58.1 degrees Celsius, or negative 72.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Burrr!
If the World’s Countries Received Electoral College Votes
Based on countries’ populations, China and India would have the majority vote. In contrast, all the countries with the smallest populations (which are most countries when compared with India and China’s combined total of 2.8 billion people) would each be given the required minimum of 3 votes.
Cats vs Dogs Across the Globe
Wonder if any of these countries prefer fish or hamsters? Or parrots, horses, or ferrets? Also, while technically more households in the US own dogs instead of cats, cat owners are more likely to have more than one cat.
First McDonald’s Openings Across Europe
The Netherlands paved the way for American fast-food chains across the continent, being the first European country to have a McDonald’s in 1971. Supposedly, the ice cream machines in Europe work much more often than not compared with the ever out-of-order machines in the US.
World’s Tea and Coffee Consumption
What about if you only drink milk or hot chocolate? Over 40% of coffee beans are grown in Brazil, followed by Vietnam and Colombia. Meanwhile, China is the main producer of tea, followed by India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya.
Most Popular TV Shows Set in Every State
Do you know which show your state is most known for? Hawaii Five-0 set in Hawaii seems pretty obvious, as does Kansas’ Smallville and Colorado’s South Park. Of course, it’s always great to see that some of TV’s all-time favorite sitcoms, Parks & Recreation (set in fictional Pawnee, Indiana) and The Office (set in real-life Scranton, Pennsylvania), made it onto this map as well. Regrettably to Friends fans everywhere, this map claims Seinfeld as the winner of the long-time rivalry between the two NYC sitcoms. While we can’t argue with popularity statistics, we’ll always be of the opinion that Friends is better.
Average Hours of Sleep Per Night in Europe
According to the CDC, adults ages 18 to 60 need at least 7 hours of sleep per night. It looks like the majority of Europe is doing pretty well with getting their z’s, though Turkey could bump their numbers up a bit. Also good for the Netherlands for having the highest average at 7 hours and 37 minutes.
Countries Who’ve Been to the Moon
Only five countries have been to the Moon: the US, Russia, India, China, and Japan. Of those five countries, only the US, Russia, and China have had successful moon landings, while India and Japan have visited the Moon via probes. Technically, the Russians were the first to plant a flag on the Moon via a rocket that crash-landed on its surface carrying a Russian flag inside. However, the United States remains the only country to this day to have had a human plant a flag on the Moon, while all other countries’ flags were placed by probes or rockets.
Happiest Countries Around the World
The World Happiness Report is based on multiple factors ranging from self-reported happiness (citizens of countries are surveyed on how happy they perceive themselves) to other well-being measures, including community interaction and communication in schools and the workforce. Finland is among the happiest countries in the world, while South Sudan is among the least happy. Also, while this might be just correlational, it seems that at least in Europe, the happier countries also tend to get more sleep per night, as noted in our Average Hours of Sleep map.
Canada’s Population Density
Oh, Canada. As one of the coldest countries in the world, we completely understand why most of your population lives below the 50th parallel north. This includes several of Canada’s major cities, including Toronto, Mississauga, Montreal, Quebec City, and its capital Ottawa. Canada’s current population is 38 million people.
Kangaroo vs Human Population in Australia
Now considered a pest by many, kangaroos outnumber Australians more often than not, including on the aptly named Kangaroo Island. Thankfully they’re not fighting each other, or the humans would clearly lose!
There are four kangaroos species, all native to Australia: the red kangaroo, the eastern grey kangaroo, the western grey kangaroo, and the antilopine kangaroo. That’s a lot of roos!
Europe’s Eye Colors
Ignoring for a minute that this is a map using UK English (spelling it “colours” instead of “colors”), it’s fascinating to see how eye color genetics play out across Europe. Brown may be the most common eye color in the world, but Europe happens to have the highest percentage of blue eyes and green eyes in the entire world, as clearly reflected here.
Pop vs Soda
Do you call it “pop” or “soda” or something else? One of perhaps the biggest language debates across the entire United States is what to call carbonated beverages, and as such, soft drinks have had many different names across the 50 states. It still annoys us that coke in the South can refer to any soft drink, whether it’s a Coca-Cola, Mountain Dew, or Fanta. And since they were left off this map, we’ll fill you in on the missing 2 US states: Alaska calls it pop, and Hawaii calls it soda.
Countries That Lost Wars to Birds
Yes, you read that right. Two countries, China and Australia, have lost “wars” to birds. In China’s case, Chairman Mao ordered all the sparrows to be eradicated in the late 1950s as they were supposedly destroying crops. The Great Sparrow Campaign greatly backfired, however, and to this day is considered one of the worst ecological disasters caused by humankind. Without sparrows, several insects such as locusts lost their natural predators, and populations boomed, eating way more crops than the sparrows ever had and causing the Great Chinese Famine (1959-1961).
On the other hand, Australia fought and lost the Great Emu War in the 1930s. The Australian government ordered emus to be culled with similar intent as China since emus were trampling farmland and spoiling crops. The actual Australian army was deployed to assist farmers with the effort, while in China’s case, just normal citizens were used in extermination efforts. Unfortunately for the Australian army, however, it turns out emus are pretty good at dodging enemy fire. After several months with little success, the government gave up trying to curb the birds’ population.
Holland Isn’t a Country, but the Netherlands Is
Whenever someone is talking about Holland, keep in mind that Holland is actually not a country, but in fact two provinces in the Netherlands. The Netherlands has 12 provinces, with North and South Holland perhaps being the two most famous of the dozen. North Holland is home to Amsterdam as well as some excellent cheese markets and windmills, while South Holland boasts big cities Rotterdam and The Hague, plus the famous Keukenhof tulips. The rest of the country is pretty amazing, too, so we recommend you branch out to see what all the Dutch have to offer when traveling.
Popular Halloween Candy in Every State
Permission to immediately annex all seven US states that have candy corn as their favorite Halloween candy? If they don’t love the many chocolate-based classics like Reese’s, Kit Kats, Butterfingers, and M&M’s that are constantly among normal people’s favorite candies every spooky season, they could at least prefer something a little more sane like Skittles or Starbursts or even Jolly Ranchers.
Countries With Bases in Antarctica
There are roughly 70 permanent research bases on Earth’s coldest continent, with 30 countries represented, including Argentina, Germany, the Czech Republic, South Africa, India, and South Korea. Scientists study everything from weather patterns to ecosystems to space-based projects on base and out and about in freezing conditions. Antarctica’s population can range from about 5,000 people in the summer season (when an additional 35 or so bases open up for seasonal research) to just around 1,000 people in the colder months.
Percentage of Europeans Living in Apartments
Interestingly enough, a greater population density does not necessarily equal a larger percentage of apartment dwellers. The UK, Belgium, and The Netherlands are among some of Europe’s most densely populated countries, yet the majority of each of their populations live in houses. Reversely, in many countries with low population densities, such as Iceland and Sweden, people are sometimes more likely to live in apartments and flats, usually due to populations being clustered in smaller, dense areas vs. being vastly spread out.
What Each State Hates the Most
The once-popular dating app Hater had a comical spin: pair people up based on mutual, minor dislikes and pet peeves. From the app’s data, we gleaned the much-needed valuable information about each state’s greatest distastes, whether it was sand (really Arizona? You are all definitely living in the wrong state then!) to tying a tie (Ohio, there are these things called clip-ons). Our perhaps favorite hated thing? Washington DC’s bold and pessimistic claim of hating the idea that everyone has a soulmate. Not sure if that’s a great thing to bond over when you’re, you know, on a dating app?
Countries With the Most Lakes
We’ll admit that the numbers might be slightly skewed on this one, as the majority of these countries are also among the 10 largest countries in the world and therefore have that much more land for lakes to exist on. It’s still incredible to us that Canada is home to almost a million lakes and beats out its next competitor, Russia, by over 4 times!
Meteor Impacts Around the World
One kiloton has the equivalent force of 1000 tons of TNT. The Chelyabinsk Meteor (technically an asteroid, since it was over 50 feet in diameter) famously exploded over Russia in 2013 with roughly 400 kilotons of force (equal to 20 to 30 Hiroshima atomic bombs going off). Thankfully, the impact had no causalities, though over 1,500 people were injured, and broken windows and structural damage were present throughout the area afterward. Based on this data, impacts of that size and force are pretty uncommon, and what a relief that is!
Quick space rock lesson:
Asteroid = a giant space rock, can be as little as 6 feet across or almost as big as a planet
Meteoroid = a small space rock, anywhere from a grain of dust to a large boulder a few feet across
Meteorite = a meteoroid or a piece of an asteroid that hits Earth’s surface
Meteor = a meteoroid that enters Earth’s atmosphere and burns up
Fireball = an unusually bright meteor
Which Big Body of Water Is Your State Closest To?
Technically, Alaska’s southern border and Canada form the Gulf of Alaska, so that would be the closest big body of water, but we digress. Seas and oceans are bigger and probably more interesting than bays and gulfs anyway, though you really don’t realize just how massive Hudson Bay in northeastern Canada is until you see the statistics. It’s 474,900 square miles and, therefore, the second-largest bay in the world, with the Bay of Bengal off the coast of India being the first.
Countries With a Bigger Economy Than California
From its wine country to Disneyland and the movie-making capital of the world, there’s no doubt California’s economy is pretty impressive. We just didn’t realize it was richer than almost every country in the world, excluding the US, the UK, Germany, and China.
Population Density of the United States
While LA County is home to over 10 million people, most of the US’ big cities, from New York and Chicago to Houston and Philadelphia, are located in the country’s eastern half. Plus, a good chunk of the rocky mountain and heartland states (Wyoming and Montana, and both of the Dakotas) are among the least populated states in the country.
Most and Least Emotional Countries in the World
This data was gathered by Gallup, who polled people in 150 countries and territories by asking them general questions about their daily emotional experiences, such as “Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?” and “Did you experience a lot of [worry/sadness/stress/anger] yesterday?” The results concluded that the Phillippines is the world’s most emotional country, while Singapore is the least emotional. The United States is currently listed as the 15th most emotional country.
US Counties Bigger than Rhode Island
Over 500 of the US’s 3000-plus counties are larger than the state of Rhode Island, with even Hawaii’s Big Island being larger than the US’s smallest state. Meanwhile, the largest county in the US, Alaska’s Yukon-Koyukuk, is a whopping 147,805 square miles and is actually larger than 47 of the 50 states, which is clearly not to scale on this map!