Did you know which two points on Earth have the longest distance in a straight line? Guy Bruneau, a wild cartographer at Google has come up with a map that shows the longest-possible straight land path on Earth to walk upon.
The line starts at about 10 km north of Greenville, Liberia, and ends near Wenling, China. The route runs through 9 time zones and 18 countries and territories.
This longest-possible straight line across the globe comes, at several points, extremely close to not working out. In Israel, for example, the path very nearly runs into the Mediterranean, and in Iran, you’ll just miss the Caspian.
Interestingly, when this straight line is viewed on a flat World map, it appears as a curved one.
But that’s just another fluke of improper map projections — a limitation of the Mercator projection, which makes it impossible to accurately represent the world’s round surface in a flat image without fudging it a bit.
There are a number of oddities in the World map because it needs to match up to the latitude and longitude coordinates. That’s the reason why Greenland is as big as Africa on many maps. And that is why this line is straight on the globe (and therefore, in reality, on Earth) gets a mighty bend when projected on a flat map.
For those, who have a doubt, can refer to the map developed by Guy Bruneau that shows the alternate projection. Here’s how it will look on a flat map.
The road goes like this: Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Burkina Faso again, Niger, Chad, Libya, Egypt, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan again and finally China.