It may surprise many that the world map you have grown to know dotting classrooms around the world are not visually accurate. The sizes of the countries as seen on them are largely distorted though not deliberately but as a result of the inherent challenge in representing a spherical earth as postulated by Geodesists.
This map is called the Mercator projection. according to wired.com “Gerardus Mercator was an engraver and globe-maker in 1500s Flanders. Until he came along, most cartographers were using Ptolemy’s grid of latitudes and longitudes, but were mostly focused on producing world maps that were descriptive, rather than functional”, Mercator never set out to draw a visual map of the earth but a navigable one as confirmed in the wired.com article “Though maps before and after have been better at showing us the whole earth, Mercator’s was the first that gave us a means for exploring it. …… Mercator never meant for his map to teach geography. Mercator’s map was so useful to sailors that its popularity eventually caught on with landlubbers. Today, it’s still the most often used map projection in the world”
The true map shows that the contiguous 48 American states, China and India combined are not as big as Africa and Greenland four times tinier than China!