Five Fascinating Micronations, Part II

It’s the second half of our look at five fascinating ‘micronations’: creations of a single person or small group wishing to declare themselves sovereign over an extremely small piece of territory: perhaps a building, a farm, a island, or a small village. After all, who wouldn’t want to rule their own country? Most micronation projects are frivolous,…

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More Lines of Largest Settlements

Following up on Wednesday’s post regarding lines of largest settlement (a way to put the bed the issue of what constitutes the northernmost and southernmost (or westernmost/easternmost) cities in a region), here are examples from six more regions. This was originally going to be a much larger post, but some of the examples in this…

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The Oldest Buildings in the World, Part II: North America, Africa, and Asia

Today is Part II of our look at the world’s oldest buildings by continent. Part I can be found here; Part II can be found here. North America – Cuicuilco Circular Pyramid, 800-600 BCE View of Cuicuilco’s main circular pyramid looking south from the Anillo Periférico freeway in Mexico City. Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CuicuilcoPerifericoDF.JPG. View Larger Map…

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The Oldest Buildings in the World, Part I: Antarctica and Australia

For any building to make it past 100 years old, let alone be thousands of years old, it’s actually quite an accomplishment when you think about it. A building has to be constantly maintained in order to ensure its continued integrity. Aesthetic tastes change, land uses change, and disasters both natural and manmade occur; all…

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Christmas Islands Around the World

It’s June, which means it’s halfway to Christmas. Halfway, that is, unless you live in one of the numerous places around the world named for the holiday. Geody lists 171 places in its gazetteer with the word ‘Christmas’ in their name, including such places as Christmas Vlei, Namibia (a dry lake in the western portion…

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Johann Christoph Homann’s 1730 Map of Asia

The map you see above is a 1730 maps of Asia produced by the German cartographer Johann Christoph Homann, scion of the famous early 18th century cartographer Johann Baptist Homann (click on the map to expand to its full size of 4000 x 3492). Its full title? The rather convoluted Recentissima Asiae Delineatio: Qua Imperia,…

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The Aurora Australis

Source: A. Sparrow, http://www.flickr.com/photos/49937157@N03/7574363700/. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licence. The vast majority of people on Earth (around 88 to 90 percent) live in the Northern Hemisphere. As such, when it comes to natural light displays in the atmosphere, the northern lights or aurora borealis (named after the Greek name for the…

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California City and Environa: Invisible Metropolises

At the intersection of geographical curiosity and failed urban planning lies California City.  Anyone who’s browsed Google Maps in the Mojave Desert just north of Los Angeles has likely noticed the massive street grid lying in the middle of nowhere, producing the illusion of a city of hundreds of thousands of people that quickly fades…

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New Holland and Geographic Synecdoche

In the other article posted here today about the ghost town of Smeerenburg, we learnt that the remote 17th-century whaling station was located on the remote Svalbard island of Amsterdamøya.  Dutch seafarers and merchants would carry the ‘Amsterdam’ around the world during this period of history, including to other remote islands such as Île Amsterdam…

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