This map tells you exactly what lies on the other side of the ocean

June 6, 2019, 9:15 a.m.
A map showing points due east and west from the North and South American coastlines.
Photo: Eric Odenheimer

With apologies to certain societies that still cling to the notion of a flat Earth, we do, in fact, live on a very large marble. It makes the business of modern mapmaking a dicey, sometimes downright confusing, proposition. Our planet's geographical nuances aren't easily committed to paper — and cartographers make certain "adjustments" to fit it all in.

Children don't have time for these issues. They'll just stand on a beach in New Jersey, point a finger across the sea and ask, "What's on the other side?"

Africa. No. Spain. Or is it France?

Map enthusiast Eric Odenheimer probably grew up asking those questions — and maybe even getting the wrong answers.

So he created a map for the finger-pointing child in all of us. It's simple, ignores inconvenient islands and cuts right to the chase — this is exactly where you would be if you swam in a perfect line east, or west, from the coasts of North and South America.

Think of it as a quick reference card for any parent befuddled by an overly inquisitive child on beach day.

Just consult this handy map. And maybe even take a moment of your own to gaze across that wide open sea and indulge your inner child.

"If I sail that way for long enough," you might muse, "I'll end up in the great Western Sahara desert!"

Maybe you could live among the Sahrawi people, learning their language and customs. Maybe you'll even fight for their independence from Morocco. Or just disappear forever from the New Jersey shore — and live the rest of your days in a fruit-bearing oasis.

So long, New Jersey. Bye bye family

Only, you would end up in Portugal, not the Sahara. Please check the map before you sail.