GEORGETTE DOUWMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGETTE DOUWMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Western Hemisphere, 17th century Dutch map. This shows the New World that was being discovered by Europeans exploring the Western Hemisphere of the Earth. The continents of North and South America (upper centre & lower right) are distorted because they had not yet been accurately mapped. A large continent, Terra Australis, was thought to extend to the far south. The island of New Guinea (centre left) is exaggerated in size. The Arctic (top centre) is shown as islands with rivers flowing from the North Pole. Insets show the Gulf of Mexico and the islands of Cuba and Haiti. This 1606 map was by Michael Mercator, grandson of the famous Gerard Mercator.
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