The impossible 1587 Urbano Monte's World Map


A 60 sheet world map was made in 1587 by Urbano Monte. It ended up being approximately nine feet by nine feet when fully assembled. The map was obtained by the David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford Libraries. The Map Center scanned all 60 sheets, and digitally put them together. When assembled, this map presents a model of the Flat Earth. Of course immediately after the map was stitched together, the flatness was explained with Urbano Monte's desire to "show the entire earth as close as possible to a three-dimensional sphere using a two-dimensional surface". Nevertheless, the map shows what it shows. It portrays the Earth as it would be seen looking directly down on the North Pole from space, a perspective not commonly used by mapmakers until the 20th century.


And besides an obvious reference to the shape of the Earth, this wonderful masterpiece of the geographical knowledge surprises us with multiple lands surrounding he circle of the world. I can see this map being a treasure trove of the so-called "Flat Earthers." A couple of the versions of the Flat Earth are below. It also represents what we know as the Antarctic Continent in a way of a circular land mass surrounding the planet circle.

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Urbano Monte's map has no Australia on it, but instead displays a huge land mass where it is supposed to be. The map is packed with fantastical creatures like griffins, unicorns, mermen, terrifying birds carrying elephants, etc. It also shows cities in the North America where should be no cities. Sakhara desert is not even close to its today's size. As a matter of fact it's not even on there. There are a few small deserts situated in the vicinity of today's Sakhara. We can see lakes, rivers, trees, and animals. What's important, we can see cities, or towns in places where scientists say that there should be none. On the other hand, some of the places we know today are located where they are supposed to be. This suggests that the map was accurate at its time. The differences we see in either Terra formation, or in specific details should be attributed to the time when this map was actually created. And there is no definitive information on whether Urbano Monte compiled the map based on the original research of his time, or used some older sources.


This map was created just 95 years after Christopher Columbus set foot anywhere near the New World. There were no satellites, cars, fossil fuel powered ships, trains, air planes, helicopters and all the other technological pleasures of today, this raises a serious question. How many millions of surveyors did they use to create this map? What complicated surveying equipment did they use? As usually, our scientists will probably say that this is a mystery of the past. Just like the map of Piri Reis is.

Additionally, the map clearly provides details for the areas not yet discovered in 1587.

Unfortunately, Greg Miller from National Geographic, clearly thinks that Urbano Monte was some sort of a fantasy cartographer.
Like many mapmakers of the era, Monte had a tendency to fill in the empty spaces on his map. Animals roam the land, and his oceans teem with ships and monsters. King Philip II of Spain rides what looks like a floating throne off the coast of South America, a nod to Spanish prominence on the high seas.
I wish "geniuses" making the above statements explained to us, regular folk, how on Earth those 16th century people were able to map both Americas in under 95 years after Columbus had a chance to set foot on Hispaniola.

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Summary: This map was possible in 1587, only if you think like Greg Miller above does. On a more serious note, the map clearly exists. Therefore, there had to be some corresponding level of technological capabilities to get this job done. The map clearly exists.

Several useful links:
You can put this map on your Google Earth: download KMZ File and Open in Google Earth - Requires Google Earth: download.


Read PDF "A Mind at Work, Urbano Mont'es 60-Sheet Manuscript World Map."
Zoom in online:
Urbano Monte's World Map
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