Biggest Countries on the Mercator Projection

Which countries appear the largest on a Mercator Projection of the world between -85° and 85° of latitude?
Change = change in apparent size compared to an equal area map
Does not include autonomous regions such as Greenland
Quiz by Quizmaster
Rate:
Last updated: November 20, 2020
First submittedNovember 20, 2020
Times taken8,774
Rating4.62
4:00
Enter answer here
0
 / 21 guessed
The quiz is paused. You have remaining.
Scoring
You scored / = %
This beats or equals % of test takers also scored 100%
The average score is
Your high score is
Your fastest time is
Keep scrolling down for answers and more stats ...
Rank
% Change
Country
1
+ 54
Russia
2
+ 63
Canada
3
- 28
United States
4
- 51
China
5
- 60
Australia
6
- 66
Brazil
7
- 28
Kazakhstan
8
- 51
Argentina
9
- 62
India
10
- 32
Mongolia
11
- 60
Algeria
Rank
% Change
Country
12
- 62
Mexico
13
- 68
D. R. Congo
14
- 66
Saudi Arabia
15
- 56
Iran
16
+ 52
Sweden
17
- 63
Libya
18
- 66
Sudan
19
- 69
Indonesia
20
+ 69
Finland
21
+ 71
Norway
+17
Level ∞
Nov 22, 2020
This quiz is based on original research. I took data from Natural Earth, projected it onto a Mercator map, and then used Inkscape to manually compute the area of each country.

Almost every country, except for those in the far north, appears smaller in the Mercator Projection than on an equal area map.

Antarctica, on the other hand, is more than 6 times larger on the Mercator Projection.

+5
Level 54
Nov 22, 2020
Good Quiz. Would love to see one about countries with the greatest / lowest % change.
+5
Level 66
Nov 22, 2020
Out of curiosity, what about Denmark? You know, Greenland...

Would it take first place?

+4
Level 84
Nov 23, 2020
I have a Van der Grinten projection map as my dining room table, which is close to the Mercator. Russia dwarfs it by quite a lot, and Canada and USA are both larger as well. I suspect on the mercator that Russia would still be largest and Canada still bigger, largely due to them being fairly close in latitude. Greenland/Denmark probably come in third?
+3
Level 87
Nov 22, 2020
Not sure I'm understanding how the countries are ranked - absolute gain/loss of size irrespective of the % changes shown?
+8
Level 78
Nov 22, 2020
They are ranked by size as it appears on Mercator projection. The percentages are just for orientation.
+1
Level 65
Nov 22, 2020
Good quiz!
+2
Level 54
Nov 22, 2020
Nice quiz! Too bad I only missed India, but I got 100% the next time :)
+5
Level 61
Nov 22, 2020
Mercator Projection is the evil of all maps
+1
Level 55
Nov 29, 2020
How so? I think it does a pretty good job at representing relative shape. And if you think about it, in schools, you are mostly talking about your own country, so it makes sense to know what shape your country is. It sacrifices size, but honestly there is no good option, other than a plain old globe
+1
Level 61
Nov 29, 2020
No it's not a good representation of country shapes either. Look at Canada or Russia for example.
+1
Level 57
Dec 9, 2020
Well, it is difficult to draw a sphere on a flat surface.
+1
Level 69
Nov 22, 2020
Is this the least-taken featured quiz?
+5
Level 79
Nov 23, 2020
I'm surprised that the US is underrepresented, given that Alaska is made to look like it's larger than the lower 48 states.
+3
Level 79
Nov 23, 2020
This animation from Wikipedia shows almost all countries shrinking. The lower 48 shrink a bit, and Alaska is several times smaller.
+1
Level 61
Nov 29, 2020
That would be because the animation is designed to make all the equatorial countries stay the same size.
+1
Level 73
Nov 24, 2020
Fantastic!
+1
Level 51
Nov 29, 2020
Great!
+1
Level 57
Nov 29, 2020
Thought of the last one with 1 sec to spare and didn't have time to type it in. 20/21 😩
+1
Level 61
Nov 29, 2020
For anyone wondering why so many red countries appear on the list, the numbers would be changed a lot depending on where the map was cut off near the poles. Because the true Mercator projection is infinitely tall, and all countries occupy a finite space on it, every country would shrink by 100% if the projection was cut off at 90° N/S.
+1
Level 22
Feb 23, 2021
I thought I typed Algeria but apparently not :)

19/20

+1
Level 18
Feb 24, 2021
who missed Russia? and the USA? and china?