Crazy Maps That Are So Bad They’re Good

You might’ve been on the internet recently and seen maps so ridiculous that you’ve had to stop, scratch your head, and wonder who made up this nonsense. But sometimes a quick google proves that despite your disbelief – the map was genuine all along. Huh. In this article you’ll see some of the most absurd – but accurate – maps on the internet today: crazy maps that are so bad, they’re good.

UK Map of Pubs

If you ever have a chance to visit England, rest assured you’ll always find a place to drink, as proven by this map of pubs in the UK.


I mean, sure, we already knew this, right? But that doesn’t make this crazy map any less impressive. Maybe its not a map, but a route plan…

Churches in Poland

Now let’s compare it to this map of Churches in Poland.


In a country that was under Communist rule for decades, maintaining this many Holy places is no mean feat. In the face of brutal persecution, the church in Poland resisted Communism and the country’s Catholic population continued worshiping in secret. It might not be much help in actually finding a church, but at least you know that when you’re in Poland, you’ll never be short of a place to pray – while in England on the other hand, you’ll always find somewhere to drown your sorrows.

Iceland Map of Cities


Ok so how on earth do you pronounce these city names? And how did the Icelandic language end up with so many excess letters? Reading town names in Iceland will make you feel like you can’t read, not just struggle with dyslexia.  Well, I suppose I’d better give one a go then. Ahem – Snæfellsnes-ogHnappadalssýsla. Ah, forget it.

Map of Antarctica

Flat Maps never treat Antarctica fairly. The frozen continent is much more like the lonely island at the bottom of the world seen here than the gigantic, straight white land mass that sprawls across the lower half of most maps of the world.

via Google Earth

And how about the distance from everybody else? Yep, it’s a cold and lonely life for poor old Antarctica. But what Antarctica lacks in warmth it gains in time zones – and this map breaks down Antarctica’s 11 – that’s right, 11 – different time zones.

©Phoenix B

I wonder just how few people have actually used this map. Just imagine the constant jetlag at the south pole!

Croatia’s Coastline

©Peter Hermes Furian

How did Croatia get all the waterfront property in this deal? The breaking up of the Communist Republic of Yugoslavia led to the creation of six new nations in 1991. And Croatia made sure all the beachfront property went to them. The reason for this goes way back to how the borders were set after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the region, way back in 1699. Bosnia only has 12 miles of coastline compared to Croatia’s 1000… which has got to be hard on all those Bosnian BBQ fans.

America’s Date Format

American’s refusal to use the metric system, its unwillingness to embrace soccer, and its stubborn insistence on refrigerating eggs – yes, we are the only ones that do that – are just a few examples of the ways Americans insist on being different from the rest of the world. Well, this map shows another example of just how isolated the US is.


Most of the world thinks of the day as day-day-month-month-year-year-year-year, so December 20th would read 20/12/2018. But not in the good ole US of A. It’s 12/20/2018 for us. Just another example of that fierce American independence for you.

Moose Population Map of the USA

Next up is a map of the USA with the states scaled by the size of its moose population.

No big surprise here with Alaska having the largest moose population in the United States. But how about Maine coming in at number 2! …And it’s about time someone brought New York down to size.

World Timezone Map

Now this map just looks like a load of lines, and in fact, if you weren’t reading an article about maps, this would make zero sense to you at all. But what we have here is a crazy map of the world as all 24 time zones – no countries or continents, just how we set our watches. If you look carefully you can kind of see the outline of Alaska and the bottom of South America – but it looks more like something out of the Matrix to me.

Switzerlands in Brazil

In this one, the little shapes covering Brazil aren’t to be confused with populations of a wild animal, like a rhino or some kind of Amazonian warthog.


Each of those shapes is the outline of Switzerland. And I went ahead and did the math for you: 142 Switzerlands fit into Brazil. That’s a lot of meat and cheese.

Kangaroo Ownership Legality

Now this map shows the answer to the question “What do Wisconsin, West Virginia, and South Carolina have in common?”


All three of these states have laws permitting ownership of a kangaroo as a pet. Of course, just because it’s legal doesn’t make it a good idea. Kangaroos are pretty aggressive and unsociable animals… and would be much more likely to punch you in the face than fetch you your morning newspaper.

Soccer Fans Map of the US

©Mundo Deportivo

Ten years ago, this map would have been irrelevant. But soccer – or football as it’s known in the rest of the world –is growing in popularity amongst a younger generation of fans here in the United States, and that makes this state map of the most popular European soccer teams possible. Now as to why these teams hold footholds where they do is more of a mystery. How a team from Paris became the most popular team in Texas and Oklahoma, for instance…? Well, to be honest… I have no idea.

Bestiality Legality Map


Here’s a crazy map no one wants their home state to appear on – the map of states where bestiality is legal. The good news is only four states are colored in on this map. The bad news? That four states are still colored in on this map. If you’re a resident of Kentucky, West Virginia, Wyoming, or New Mexico, you might want to write to your representative and ask to get this weird legal loophole closed. Urgh.

Queen Elizabeth Immunity Map

This next map shows all the countries where Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom can be charged with a crime.


And the answer to this question is… 1. Almost every country in the world provides the queen with some form of diplomatic or sovereign immunity when she visits. The odd one out is the African nation of South Sudan, where the Queen is offered no such protection. So I guess the 92 year old monarch better mind her P’s and Q’s on her next visit to South Sudan.

Google Autocomplete Response Map

This map breaks down the top google autocomplete response for each nation in Europe, as googled from the united states. For example, if you type in “Why did Germany….” in google, the top autocomplete response is “Why did Germany invade Poland?” Pretty pointless, but definitely interesting. It seems we can’t quite understand why people join certain unions… or leave, for that matter.

In fact, almost every nation in Europe’s top autocomplete results had something to do with war or politics. That is, everybody except for Norway. The Scandinavian nation’s top response was “Why did Norway knight a penguin?” Which is a good question. So, when a Norwegian army lieutenant visited a zoo in the 1970s, they appointed a 3-foot penguin as their mascot and made him an honorary guardsman. The tradition continued, and the current mascot – a penguin named Nils – has risen through the ranks of the Norwegian military, and was given a knighthood in 2005 on behalf of Norway’s King Harald.

©Von Mark Owens

But interesting autocomplete results aren’t just reserved for the Europeans. Check out the results I found for US states as typed into google search. Basically, from the US I typed in the state, like ‘Iowa is’ into google search and then got the autocompete results. I eliminated some Dark.


Heavy Metal Bands Map

©Jakub Marian

I learned a number of things from this map. First, I did not know an “Encyclopedia Metallum” existed. It’s a website listing bands from various forms of heavy metal music. Second, Chile is by far the king of metal bands in South America. In fact, the race is not even close. According to Jakub Marian, The slim Andean mountain nation has 113 metal bands, almost double the 58 claimed by Uruguay, number 2 on the list.

But if you thought that was a lot, you’ve seen nothing. On the world scale Chile is outdone by Scandinavia, with Finland containing the highest density of metal bands. There must be something about cold climates that makes people want to listen to heavy metal.

via Imgur

Countries Poorer than Bill Gates

via Imgur

This one might depress you a bit. Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder who’s done amazing things for the world by pioneering the personal computer, has more money than most of the nations in Africa, every country in Central America, all of the nations in the Caribbean, as well as Greenland – though that shouldn’t be a big surprise considering it’s just a big block of ice. Maybe he’s planning on buying up a country sometime in the future. He could name it Microsoftopia, or the United Gates. Unless Jeff Bezos buys the whole world up first, of course.

McDonald’s Map

Now you’ll see the golden arches in almost any country you go to. But there are a handful of nations who’ve held out and have defended their borders against Ronald McDonald and his crew.

Some countries have even kicked McDonald’s out – Bolivia, Iran, and Iceland have all decided to get rid of their McDonald’s franchises, citing a mix of political and public health reasons.

Lightning Strike Intensity Map

Now, Toto only mentioned the rain down in Africa. They neglected to inform us of the intense lightning that comes with it. The problems of poverty and disease on the continent are well-known, and often unfairly exaggerated. But what about this big black blob in the Congo?

©NASA/GHRC/NSSTC Lightning Team

That represents lightning strike intensity, and it looks like the most electrifying place on earth happens to be in central Africa. As for the US, Florida leads the way. Ah Florida – the weird one as usual.

Original US City Names

What if Tampa were still known as Angola? What if Miami were still known as Fort Dallas? Or what if Washington DC were still known as Georgetown? These are some of the original names of major US cities when those places first formed.


Some of them show clearly where the roots of the modern city name came from. Nashville was Fort Nashborough, Pittsburgh was Pittsborough, Cleveland was Cleaveland. But some city names had no connection to their future identity whatsoever. Atlanta was Terminus? San Francisco was Encinal? And what were they doing in Portland to earn the name ‘the Clearing’?

From the Twitter of horror writer Stephen King, this map highlights the weirdest city names all over the US.


Santa Clause in Indiana might be one you’re familiar with. But is there anyone out there from Chicken Bristle, a city in the neighboring state of Illinois? It also makes sense that Minnesota would have a city named Little Canada. And what was the motivation behind the name of the city Mormon Bar, California? And is anyone in West Virginia proud to be from Booger Hole?

US Map of Shame

You may have come across rankings for the top states in various categories including education, medical care, and average income. Well, as this crazy map from 2011 by the cartographic research lab at the university of Alabama illustrates, every state is dead last in something.

©Cartographic Research Lab

This map of shame presents some obvious results, such as California being dead last in air pollution or New York having the worst commute times. But who knew Maine would be the dumbest state? Or that Louisiana would be the Gonorrhea state? And everything is bigger in Texas except the graduation rates, which are the nation’s worst.

Popular Swearwords in the US

In a similar vein, this next map shows the most popular swearwords by state – big shocker here!!

©Jack Grieve

The Midwest cusses less on Twitter than anywhere else in the country. The Midwest coming in as the most polite shouldn’t shock anyone. As for the part of the country that comes in with the worst language? That distinction belongs to the Southeast, who came in first with three of the words including the s-word, the b-word and the c-word.


©Jack Grieve

©Jack Grieve

The f-bomb was used equally amongst the southeast and northwest. And surprisingly, California and the West showed the most frequent use of a certain derogatory term directed at Gay people.

©Jack Grieve

One Giant Cat

Not a cat person? Well, too bad. Because this map proves the world is just one giant cat knocking Australia around like a ball of yarn.


Orange Peel Map of Japan

Another creative way to view the world is this orange peel map of Japan… I’m guessing this was the work of a soccer team with too much time on their hands.


So, have these crazy maps taught you anything about the world? And which one did you find the most absurd? Let me know in the comments down below. Thanks for reading!

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