Map projections have long been a source of fascination, as early iterations have been shown to be less faithful to certain geographical traits than others.

For example, Mercator’s projection was compared unfavourably to the Gall-Peters projection in an episode of the The West Wing (season 2, episode 16).

The cartographic community remains split over the Gall-Peters projection, but a consistent trait of rectangular projections is that the shape of the earth tends to over- or under-emphasise the size of certain territories.

In light of a wonderful visualisation on TheTrueSize.com, which we absolutely didn’t spend five hours fiddling with, we checked the CIA world factbook to compare.

For example, one doesn't think of the DR Congo as a large country due to it's position on the equator which diminishes its size on some maps.

However, TheTrueSize.com shows us how the 11th largest country in the world compares to Europe.

So, which countries are bigger? Take the quiz below:

Note: Area compares the sum of all land and water areas delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines. Sound definitions put China as the third largest country instead of the US, but we went with the CIA...

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