Middle Earth may be fictional, but New Zealand is not. Still, people tend to forget about the country "tucked away down there," as Homer Simpson would say. The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum is guilty. So, too, is Starbucks and the board game Risk, according to an amusing subreddit dedicated to world maps that have omitted the country. There are a surprising number—and New Zealand is fighting back. A new tourism campaign centered around the hashtag #GetNZontheMap pokes fun at what New Zealand native and Flight of the Conchords star Rhys Darby calls "a major conspiracy," per Mashable.
"This is big. Bigger than we thought," he tells Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a new ad. "Bigger than the moon landing and Loch Ness combined, which by the way is one of my theories, that those things are combined." He boils it down to two theories: That other countries are leaving New Zealand off maps in a bid to steals its tourists, get rid of its rugby team, and cover up its great wine. Or, it's that "we're quite a fiddly looking shaped country, a bit like a half-eaten lamb chop. Perhaps people are just leaving us off thinking we're a mistake." Shared Tuesday, the ad showcasing what the New York Times calls New Zealand's "trademark deadpan humor" has racked up nearly 30,000 views on YouTube. (Speaking of tourism, this little-known city might become the world's next hot spot.)