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

Illustration for article titled 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.

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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.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons


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

Illustration for article titled 21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters

Source: National Library of Sweden


America as the land of plenty, 1782.

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Source: Library of Congress


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

Illustration for article titled 21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters
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Source: Bonhmas


Comic map of the seat of war, 1854.

Illustration for article titled 21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters
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Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


European states, 1864.

Illustration for article titled 21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters
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Source: National Library of Sweden


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

Illustration for article titled 21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters
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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.

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Source: Library of Congress


Serio-comic war map for the year 1877.

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Source: Library of Congress


Animal Europe: comic physiology of Europe, 1882.

Illustration for article titled 21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters
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Source: Bibliotheek van de Universiteit van Amsterdam


Map of Europe in 1887.

Illustration for article titled 21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters
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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.

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Source: Library of Congress


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

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Source: National Library of Sweden


Japanese allegorical map representing the Far East, c1900.

Illustration for article titled 21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters
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Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


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

Illustration for article titled 21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters
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Source: Centre Excursionista de Catalunya


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

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Source: Library of Congress


Hark! Hark! The dogs do bark! 1914

Illustration for article titled 21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters
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Source: National Library of Sweden


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

Illustration for article titled 21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters
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Source: Library of Congress


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

Illustration for article titled 21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters
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Source: Wikimedia Commons


And two bonus map in order to resolve the tension:

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

Illustration for article titled 21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters
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Source: Library of Congress


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

Illustration for article titled 21 Bizarre Maps That Depict Nations As Animals, People, and Monsters
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Source: Glamour magazine, 1948. april.


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DISCUSSION

The map titled 'Japanese allegorical map representing the Far East, c1900.' was authored by a Chinese cartoonist. This is the colored version of his original work first published in 1898 in Hong Kong. The author had a friend of his to produce this colored version in Japan. And then published in Shanghai later.