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).