Mental Floss

Accidental Geography

Ransom Riggs

People find countries in the strangest places. Strangemaps collected a bunch of great examples, including some of these gems:

The United Steaks of America

New Zealand: Land of the Long White Cloud
Did you know that the Maori name for New Zealand, Aotearoa, literally means "land of the long white cloud?" Ironic, then, that this accidental geography should appear in the sky.

Michelle Holshue sent in this picture, which she took in Costa Rica some years ago. The cloud formation over the ocean reminded her of New Zealand "“ and with some justification: the angle of the cloud constellation conforms to that of the New Zealand archipelago's two main islands on most maps. The top of the cloud is shaped like NZ's North Island, its bottom like South Island. A break in the cloud formation suggests the Cook Strait, separating both islands.

13-nz /

Drown Under
What city is this? Miami? Strangemaps doesn't say.

5-drown-under /