Fascinating Maps from Around the World

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 forty of the fifty United States.

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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!

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You can see shades of scarlet, maroon, and crimson on the flags of the US and Mexico, not to mention 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 two 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.

PenthosHeydrich / Reddit

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.

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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, because the continent of Antarctica is far less solid land than what we once thought.

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Without all its ice, Antarctica would become a scattering of islands and inlets, making things harder for the local wildlife.

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?

HillalBS / Reddit

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 (the bigger the state population, the more likely there are cities with tall buildings).

saint_aleutian / Reddit

However, it’s still funny to see that a tiny east coast state like Delaware has more skyscrapers (22) 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! Just look at how easily nations like South Africa, France, and Japan fit inside Australia’s borders.

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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

Alaska may be the largest state in the US, yet it’s also one of the least populated. Most of Alaska boasts a population density of less than 1 person per square mile.

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That sounds 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, so it’s better to stay huddled in the southern parts of the state anyway!

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.

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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 state flower is perhaps one of the more unique blooms on this map, as its white blossoms are actually the white flowers that grow on the saguaro cactus!

European Countries That Only Border One Country

In Europe, you have to be comfortable with having neighbors. Of Europe’s 44 countries, only seven of them share a border with just one country!

basicboi224 / Reddit

The countries with only one border 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. To our knowledge, however, all of these countries are fairly friendly with their one and only neighboring nations.

Ice Hockey Teams in Africa

Yep, you read that right. Africa has five countries with nationally recognized ice hockey teams.

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The hockey teams are located in the countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Namibia, and South Africa. A few smaller teams also exist in Libya, Egypt, and Kenya.

Currently, there are no NHL players from the entire continent of Africa, which makes sense since Africa isn’t exactly known for cold weather.

India’s Many Languages

While English and Hindi are the official government languages of India, the languages people speak every day throughout the country are much more diverse.

shlok_paatni / Reddit

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 on 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.

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Other Statue of Liberty replicas scattered around the globe can be found in countries such as Brazil, Norway, Ukraine, Israel, and Japan.

One of the most unique Statue of Liberty replicas is 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.

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At present, 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 over one hundred thousand speakers. Other languages such as Yupik and Dakota (also known as Sioux) are also fairly widespread.

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Despite the Cherokee language seeming to have complete dominance over parts of the American South and Appalachia, the population only numbers about ten thousand.

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 and therefore not considered in the context of this map.

Countries Britain Never Invaded

If you ever doubted the power the British Empire once had, look no further than this map. Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

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The map isn’t colored in much, and the list isn’t a very long one, as there have only been twenty-two countries Great Britain has never invaded. Those non-invaded countries 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. That’s both impressive and intimidating.

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 type of auto-racing competition to the Olympics?

tonitheromanian / Reddit

To us, it’s fascinating to think about some of these car makes and models are only available in their home countries, meaning you’d need to book a plane ticket and then a car rental if you ever wanted to give them a spin.

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

Oh if only every bit of land mass on Earth was hospitable and temperate, but alas, we have deserts and polar ice caps.

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Not surprisingly, the greyed-out areas pictured on this map are typically arid, desert areas or icy, snow-prone areas. This is also why Antarctica has been left off the bottom of this map entirely.

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

How do you address a group of people? Do you say “you guys” or “y’all” or something entirely different?

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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, especially as “you guys” has been falling out of popularity in recent years.

Present Habitats of Flamingos

Outside of zoos, does anyone really think about where flamingos live? Personally, we’re not afraid of admitting that we had no idea where these big pink birds came from.

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Who knew these large, graceful creatures had habitats on five out of the seven continents? And that there are six separate species of flamingoes?

Additionally, 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

If you thought your city highway’s 50-mile-an-hour speed limit was too slow, just look at South Sudan and Papua New Guinea, where the average speed is 45 miles an hour or less.

keith2301 / Reddit

Meanwhile, 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.

Some of the other slowest speed limits in the world can be found in Bolivia, Greenland, and Madagascar, though some of this is a reflection of the countries’ individual infrastructures and landscapes. To give some additional perspective, most NASCAR and Formula 1 cars average about 160 miles an hour.

Origins of US States’ Names

As it turns out, the majority of the United States get their names from English and Native American origins, while Rhode Island is the only state with a Dutch-based name.

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The state of Idaho’s name origins remains a mystery however, though it was once thought to be a Native American word.

Upon further research, people couldn’t determine Idaho’s true origins, yet 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.

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Countries often spend the father’s day 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

Interesting. It seems in areas with significant black bear populations, bigfoot sightings are fairly common. Coincidence? We think not!

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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

While many people give Americans a hard time for using the imperial system instead of the metric system, the US is clearly on the more popular side of things when it comes to which side of the road to drive on.

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As pictured, most countries drive on the RIGHT side of the road, which many people would argue is also the CORRECT side.

Coming from America and the majority of most countries: the UK, South Africa, India, and Australia, you’re all LEFT and also all WRONG.

Countries That Have Hosted the Olympics

It seems to go without saying, but if you want to host the winter games, then you probably need to live in an area that gets some snow.

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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 given their far warmer climates.

US State Dinosaurs

As lovers of paleontology and all things related to Jurassic Park, we writers at RocketFacts are certainly biased, but we think that every state should have its own official dinosaur!

junverzagt30 / Reddit

The fact that barely a dozen US states currently have a state dinosaur 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 more interesting than official state birds or fish, and we’re pretty sure any third-grader having to learn this information would agree!

The Appalachian Mountains vs Appalachia

When you hear people talking about Appalachia or the Appalachians, they aren’t always talking about the same thing.


Who knew the Appalachian Mountain range was so long and stretched so far north? In fact, the mountains extend beyond the US border and up into southeastern Canada.

Meanwhile, the US region colloquially known as Appalachia starts slightly more south than the actual mountain range for which it’s named, starting in southern New York and going southwest all the way down to Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

Annual Peak Temperatures Around the World

All we can say after viewing this map is poor Greenland! While the coastal areas (where most of the island nation’s 56,000 citizens live) get at least up into the 50s Fahrenheit on occasion, Greenland is clearly one of the coldest countries in the world, with 85% of its total land area covered in ice or snow year-round.

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It’s also fascinating how the Himalayan mountains (the large, dark red section in the middle of Asia) drastically bring down the average high temps of Nepal and Bhutan when compared to surrounding countries such as India and China.

Since this map’s key is in Celsius, here’s a conversion chart for comparing additional max temperatures:

0°C = 32°F

10°C = 50°F

25°C = 77°F

40°C = 104°F

50°C = 122°F

Directions in Antarctica

Oh, dear. Remind us to never ask for directions when in Antarctica, because we’d surely get lost. When you’re at the bottom of the world, there’s really nowhere else to go but up!


If navigating this southern, icy continent, your best bets are probably just to use short-range directions, or perhaps latitude and longitude.

In case you were wondering, the North Pole has the opposite problem. If you were to stand in the middle of the North Pole, going any direction would be going south!

Potatoes vs Tomatoes

It’s a fairly straightforward premise: green for potatoes, red for tomatoes. Simple right?

ScarAdvanced9562 / Reddit

We find this map fascinating, especially the correlation between where the vegetables are more commonly grown, and where the countries lie on lines of latitude.

Tomatoes clearly fare better in warmer climates closer to the Equator, while potatoes are a bit tougher and can thrive in colder climates.

Oreo fans everywhere can rejoice, as the sandwich cookie is the most popular state snack, particularly on the east coast.


Oreos are also the state snack of Hawaii, surprisingly enough (junk food has no borders, nor can it be stopped by half an ocean apparently).

It’s also interesting that there seems to be at least a slight correlation between southern and southwestern states and nonmeltable snacks such as Lay’s, Ruffles, Funyuns, and Cheez-Its. It makes sense considering chocolate-based treats melt so quickly in southern heat!

Countries with Coastal Capitals

While only about a fifth of all countries are landlocked, many nations base their capitals closer to the center of their countries, so that logistically, it’s easier for citizens from all over to reach them.

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Considering the countries that do have coastal capitals (often the result of strong trading economies), we wonder how likely it is 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

In case you didn’t know, Bolivia, Peru, and Guatemala have the highest total indigenous populations in North and South America.

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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, as well.

Russia’s Population Density

Considering Russia is the largest country in the world by land mass, at first, this seems like a massive waste of land!

forummapping / Instagram

However, 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, where the climate and land conditions are more favorable.

Cattle vs Humans in the US

Holy cow, that’s a lot of cows! While you might think of Texas being the biggest cattle-raising state (with over twelve million cows), they also have a human population of almost thirty million.

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Meanwhile, South Dakota is the state with the most cattle per person in the US, with roughly four cows for every one human.

The states of Nebraska and Montana are close behind, with three and two point five cows each per every one person. Hopefully cows never revolt, or else these states would be in big trouble!

Metric vs Imperial Systems Around the World

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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

basicboi224 / Reddit

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

Philolologue / Reddit

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.

MsStormyTrump / Reddit

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

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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

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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

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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

Sudden_Case1617 / Reddit

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

Beginning_School7322 / Reddit

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

PenthosHeydrich / Reddit

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

Landgeist / Reddit

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

maps.factory / Instagram

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

Sapotis / Reddit

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

JLRosewater / Reddit

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

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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

SleepDeprivedEm0 / Reddit

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

keith2301 / Reddit

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.

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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

sam_3758 / Reddit

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

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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

-OutKast- / Reddit

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

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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

maps.factory / Instagram

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

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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

keith2301 / Reddit

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

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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.

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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 the 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!

We find the data on this map delicious and interesting! When it comes to the trick-or-treating holiday, chocolate-based treats tend to be the most popular.

kenradio / Twitter

However, part of us does want to immediately annex all seven US states that have candy corn as their favorite Halloween candy. Have they ever tried a fun-sized Snickers or Reese’s pumpkin?!

If these states 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.

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In Antarctica, scientists study everything from weather patterns to ecosystems to space-based projects, sometimes on base and other times 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 within a country does not necessarily equal a larger percentage of apartment dwellers.

Landgeist / Reddit

For example, 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. You can see the most common results in each state here.

Good Housekeeping / Pinterest

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!) or “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.

latecomer11 / Reddit

It’s still incredible to us that Canada is home to almost a million lakes and beats out its next competitor, Russia, by over four times!

Meanwhile, though the US state of Minnesota has been called the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the number is actually closer to 11,000, and the state of Wisconsin actually has more than 15,000!

Meteor Impacts Around the World

For a better understanding of this map, keep in mind that 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).

hconfiance / Reddit

Miraculously, this 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!

If you’re unfamiliar with the differences between meteors, asteroids, and fireballs, here’s a 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?

Twenty-seven of the fifty United States are considered landlocked, as noted on this map regarding states’ closest big bodies of water.

Landgeist / Reddit

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.

However, 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

With California being one of the most expensive US states, it makes sense that it also has a massive economy.

amazing__maps / Instagram

From all of its tourist opportunities like wine country and Disneyland, to being 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

What an interesting split! Though the biggest US states by land mass are all in the west, population-wise most of the US’s population density is concentrated on the East Coast and parts of the Midwest.

potatoes_maps / Instagram

While LA County is home to over 10 million people, most of the US’s 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.

Beginning-Loan3313 / Reddit

Survey questions included “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

We knew Rhode Island was the US’s smallest state, but we didn’t realize just how small it was until we saw it on this map.

bigchicken9 / Reddit

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 shown to scale on this map!


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