9 Countries That Look Like Things | Intrepid Travel Blog

Usually, “seeing the world differently” refers to going somewhere and realizing that it doesn’t match your expectations; which is much more complex/safer/less dusty than I had imagined. and sometimes it just means looking at a map of the world and proclaiming: ‘this country looks like a bunny’.

We spend a lot of time poring over maps, and quite often it occurs to us that countries look like things. animal stuff, mostly. Was this perhaps something our readers might be interested to know that we finally wondered? probably not, we collectively admit it… but should we share it anyway? Yes. And so, without further ado or attachment, get ready to see the world as you’ve never seen it before. Introducing the first, and most likely last, installment of “maps that look like things.”

Reading: Countries that look like dogs

1. finland

finland looks a bit like a rabbit.

we move on…

Would you like to spend the winter in Finnish Lapland? you can on this 8-day adventure

2. japan

Illustration of Japan and a seahorseAlthough Japan has to borrow a few of Russia’s islands to pull off the likeness, when it does, it looks quite like a seahorse. The Japanese word for seahorse is 竜の落し子, which sounds like Tatsunootoshigoand and translates to ‘Dragon’s bastard child’. Harsh.

Discover the best of Japan on this 10-day adventure

3. south africa

Illustration of South Africa and a rhinoSouth Africa looks like a rhino’s head. That it does is a pretty massive coincidence, as there aren’t too many rhinos left in the world and one of the few places they still are in is South Africa. It’s particularly coincidental that the rhino-that-is-South Africa has two horns, as that’s the exact number of horns that African rhinos have. Did you know that Asian rhinos only have one horn? True story. It’s also pretty convenient that Lesotho exists, as that’s the rhino’s eye.

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Explore the real South Africa on this 17-day adventure

4. sweden and norway

with their combined geographic powers, sweden and norway are two very badass countries. so rude, in fact, that we’re not even going to tell (or show) what they look like. sweden and norway are so rude that our pink illustrator refused to draw them. if you don’t know what sweden and norway are like, fine: your mind is spotless and pure. if you don’t know but would like to know, ask one of the big kids at school.

Get a taste of Scandinavia on this 7-day adventure

5. Senegal

Illustration of Senegal and a faceSenegal looks like one of those health posters at a doctor’s clinic that tells you how to put food in your mouth. The Gambia is the man’s mouth. Even spookier though, the Gambia is also a river that runs right the way through the Gambia the country…and its river mouth IS WHERE THE MAN’S MOUTH IS.

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6. Cuba

Illustration of Cuba and a swimmerCuba looks like someone swimming freestyle. The swimmer’s torso and head are underwater and all you can see is their arm either going into a stroke (I.e. towards the American mainland) or coming out of one (swimming away from it). In this regard, Cuba is a bit like one of those optical illusions where you can’t tell which way the ballerina is turning. The resemblance is made all the more uncanny by Cuba being naturally situated in water. In sum, Cuba’s a bit like a Rorschach test.

Spend a week in Cuba on this trip, exclusively for travelers from 18 to 29 years old

7. united kingdom

Illustration of the UK and a dragonThe UK looks a bit like a dragon blowing a few puffs of smoke out of his nostrils. Interestingly, albeit irrelevantly, when England and Wales were warring back in the day, Welsh mythology depicted the two countries as feuding dragons. Wales was a red dragon and England a white one.

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8. tajikistan

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Illustration of Tajikistan and a dogAs you can see, Tajikistan is a dog that’s running away from something but has his head turned around back in the direction whence he has come – probably to catch a Frisbee or something. He’s most likely an Afgan Hound type of dog.

adventure awaits you in tajikistan! more information here

9. australia

Illustration of Australia and a dogSpeaking of countries that look like dogs, Australia looks like a Schnauzer dog – a fact we’ve had verified by a real-life schnauzer owner named Emily. When pushed on the point, Emily denied that she had ever beheld Gus from a certain angle and taken him for Australia…but did concede there possibly existed some resemblance. Thanks Emily.

see our range of Australian adventures here

so there you have it. you can never look at the world the same way again.

and now it’s your turn. what are some countries that you think things look like? Can you think of any country that doesn’t look like the stuff? Are there other things that you think are similar to things? or, for that matter, not that? This highly stupid game is guaranteed to provide, if not hours of fun for your whole family, then possibly a few minutes or bafflement for your own procrastinator.

Would you like to go to a country that does or does not resemble a thing? Check out our range of intrepid small group adventures for travelers aged 18-29 now.

all illustrations are by rosa friend.

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