Science & Health

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, And Monsters

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Allegorical, satirical, and comic or serio-comic maps were one of the most popular ways of distributing political propaganda leading up to the Second World War. With countries depicted as human figures, animals, or even monsters, these maps attempted to represent more than just geography — and in doing so, exposed the political biases and sometimes even bigotry of the author.

Nowadays, it’s strange to see states and people caricatured using cartography according to current political and international circumstances — especially in such a sarcastic, even disobliging way. The following collection of maps will give you an idea about how these artists used geographic as a form of propaganda, sometimes to disturbing ends.

1570: Map of Europe in the shape of a queen.

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: Wikimedia Commons


Allegorical map of the Baltic Sea in the form of Charon, the ferryman of Hades, 1701.

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: National Library of Sweden


America as the land of plenty, 1782.

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: Library of Congress


Britannia, hand-coloured and engraved caricature map of Britain in the guise of an old woman seated on a sea creature, 1791.

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: Bonhmas


Comic map of the seat of war, 1854.

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


European states, 1864.

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: National Library of Sweden


Europe’s comic map dedicated to the youth, 1867.

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: Map-Fair


The Porcineograph, 1876, a map of the United States in the shape of a pig, surrounded by pigs representing the different states, with notations of state foods.

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: Library of Congress


Serio-comic war map for the year 1877.

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: Library of Congress


Animal Europe: comic physiology of Europe, 1882.

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: Bibliotheek van de Universiteit van Amsterdam


Map of Europe in 1887.

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: Library of Congress


1888: Illustrated political chart of American politics and the Tapeworm Party, showing James G. Blaine as the head of a tapeworm made up of various government scandals over a map of the United States.

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: Library of Congress


Angling in troubled waters, a serio-comic map of Europe, 1899

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: National Library of Sweden


Japanese allegorical map representing the Far East, c1900.

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


John Bull and his friends: a serio-comic map of Europe, 1900

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: Centre Excursionista de Catalunya


Map of Europe at the outbreak of the first World War, 1914

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: Library of Congress


Hark! Hark! The dogs do bark! 1914

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: National Library of Sweden


Warmonger Prussia as an octopus whose tentacles are reaching into Europe, 1914

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: Library of Congress


The Great European War, from A Humorous Atlas of the World (Japan 1914).

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: Wikimedia Commons


And two bonus map in order to resolve the tension:

Human map of the U.S.A., c1925.

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: Library of Congress


A map of the fortified country of man’s heart.

21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: Glamour magazine, 1948. april.


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