Did you know the Mercator projection on maps really messes up your idea about size? The cylindrical map projection of the Flemish geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator (presented in 1569) is the standard map projection nowadays. While the linear scale is equal in all directions around any point, thus preserving the angles and the shapes of small objects (which makes the projection conformal), the Mercator projection distorts the size and shape of large objects, as the scale increases from the Equator to the poles, where it becomes infinite. Get it? Well, check out this puzzle to understand the real impact of what you’ve just read. Impressive!