This map will let you look at the world a little differently — and a lot more accurately.

Here's a map of the Earth.

Photo via Keio University Graduate School of Media and Governance Narukawa Laboratory.

It might look weird, but it's actually one of the most accurate world maps ever created.

Every continent, country, and ocean on this map is drawn to be proportionally accurate. It's as close as possible, size-wise, to the real thing.

The map was designed by Japanese architect and artist Hajime Narukawa, who just won a Good Design Award — one of the most prestigious design awards on the planet.

Speaking of the planet...

This map addresses a problem cartographers have been scratching their heads over for centuries: How exactly do you make an accurate map of the world?

You see, despite what some conspiracy theorists on YouTube think, the Earth is definitely a sphere. So unfolding it and printing it on a flat piece of paper is inherently difficult. It's a geometrical conundrum that will inevitably lead to inaccuracies.

It's like trying to make a square donut. You can pull it off, but it's going to look a little weird.

For hundreds of years, the answer has been this:

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

It's known as the "Mercator Projection." You may recognize it from your fourth grade classroom. Since it's invention in the 1500s, it's been the go-to standard for navigators, educators, diner placemat makers, and map enthusiasts.

It works pretty well for navigation but it's not without its problems. For example, Greenland looks to be a lot bigger than the United States when, in reality, you could comfortably fit Greenland into the U.S. about four times.

This cool interactive map shows the same "real size" effect for other countries around the world.

Narukawa's map takes a new approach. It unfolds the globe in a way that more accurately represents each landmass.

To do it, he divided the Earth into 96 regions. Then he mapped those regions onto a pyramid or tetrahedron. Unfold the tetrahedron and you get a flat rectangle that maintains (as close as possible) all the appropriate size and distance ratios.

Math! Photo via AuthaGraph, Keio University Graduate School of Media and Governance Narukawa Laboratory.

There's even a version you can print out and re-fold into a spherical globe.

Photo via Keio University Graduate School of Media and Governance Narukawa Laboratory.

It's not perfect, but it's a beautiful design that gives us a fresh, new, and more accurate perspective of our planet. And aside from eating a square donut, how often do you get to look at the world in an entirely new way?


If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.