Roundest, Most Rectangular Nations Are on the Same Continent

Congratulations Egypt and Sierra Leone
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2016 10:10 AM CDT
Roundest, Most Rectangular Nations Are on the Same Continent
Egypt: Unparalleled in its rectangular-ness.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Information that could come in handy in bar bet: Egypt is the most rectangular country on Earth, while Sierra Leone is the roundest. These odd findings began with a post at papubhary.com, which explains that a friend's comment about how Turkey was "remarkably rectangular" got the author wondering about a ranking system. Turns out, Turkey is No. 15.

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It's nowhere near as simple as comparing shapes on map: "I defined the rectangularness of a country as its maximum percentage overlap with a rectangle of the same area, working in the equirectangular projection (i.e., x = longitude, y = latitude)." That post then inspired another at gricelos.com about the roundest countries (with a similarly complicated formula). The top three in each category:

  • Most rectangular countries: Egypt, the Vatican, and St. Maarten
  • Roundest countries: Sierra Leone, Nauru, Zimbabwe
(Read more Egypt stories.)

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