Say you decide one day to get up from the couch, step outside and set out due east. Over mountain, stream, forest and field you march. When you reach the ocean, you chart a perfectly parallel course along a constant latitude until, ignoring small islands, your vessel arrives... where, exactly?
The map below, created by redditor e8odie, tells you what country you'd wind up in if you sailed due east or west from any coastal point in the Americas. Inspired by a similar submission from redditor nomapisperfect, e8odie's map of parallel places is an impactful reminder that the real world does not always match with the map in our mind's eye. "One of the most common responses," e8odie tells io9, "was people commenting on forgetting how far north the UK and Ireland are. And giving a thanks to the Gulf Stream for not having to deal with Newfoundland/Labrador weather."
e8odie gave io9 some other takeaways and things to keep in mind (my favorite bit emphasized):
Yes, I left out the majority of small islands. This was due to (1) being more interested in what large landmass was cross-latitude from that point and (2) visual simplicity. If I included every island, the Pacific Ocean in particular would've been cluttered with text and most of them would've taken up less than one pixel width at this scale.
My favorite quirk were the latitudes that just squeaked past other countries. The Vietnam stripe squeezes between Hainan and mainland China, the Algeria pixel is thanks to the Strait of Gibraltar, and (my overall favorite) that you can leave due west from the Pacific coast of Chile and the first land you'll hit is... Chile, via its Atlantic coast thanks to the Strait of Magellan.
Complement with a map of Africa's true size, how map projections warp your understanding of reality, a map of 19th Century shipping routes and nothing else and a map of Pangea with modern geopolitical borders.