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You ever notice how rectangular Egypt is? Me neither—until I discovered some very unscientific research from Australian statistician David Barry. In a recent blog post, Barry compared the rectangularness of all countries in the world and found that it doesn’t get any better than Egypt.

Just look at it.

It’s a rectangular masterpiece.

Barry’s search for the most rectangular country started after a Facebook friend noted how “remarkably rectangular” the country Turkey is. That made Barry think: What if he compared every country in the world to find out the most rectangular country of them all? He decided to go for it, and he built a comparison tool using maximum percentage overlap with a rectangle of the same area as a country. The results were shocking.


First of all, who would have guessed Egypt is the most rectangular with a 95 percent match? That’s crazy.

How how about the Vatican losing by a such a close margin at 94.8 percent? Even crazier.

All you rectangle fans should take this with a nice big pinch of rectangular salt: Barry warns in his blog post that “there are probably small errors scattered throughout” his analysis and countries that “consist of many small islands could be horribly wrong.” I guess that means the Philippines has a pretty solid excuse for not being rectangular. But all the other landlocked countries out there don’t have any excuse. Better shape up (except for the Maldives, it looks like a lost cause).



Technology editor at Gizmodo.

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