Map: *Actual* European Discoveries


Columbus and his ocean-cruising colleagues were great at showing up late to the party and swaggering around like they owned the place, but every now and then, European explorers did bump into uncharted and uninhabited lands. Yale geography professor Bill Rankin has mapped these spots, mostly “diminutive islands that no human had ever seen before, along with extravagant amounts of ice and snow.” Today, just 0.05 percent of the world population, or 3.6 million people, live in these places. 

These islands make up roughly the area of Great Britain, or 0.14 percent of the land on Earth. But if you include the frozen expanses of land at the poles, the conquistadors can claim another 11 percent!

The map also reveals some interesting 16th-century geopolitics. The kaleidoscopes of color along the edges of the map show the spoils of whaling wars, Rankin writes, which led to a “free-for-all” land grab. The middle of the map is dominated by Portugal (green) and Spain (brown); Rankin would have readers recall the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, which divvied up discoveries between the two imperial powers. Today, the population living on land (actually) discovered by Portuguese explorers comes to a whopping 3.4 million, far out performing Spain, with its measly 150,000. Vamos Portugal!

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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