One of the most common maps of the world is in fact, one of the most misleading. The problem is that the size of countries and continents have been either exaggerated or downplayed. Why? The Earth is a sphere, making it very difficult to have an accurate representation on a two dimensional flat surface, like a map.
The Mercator projection is a cylindrical map projection of a sphere to a two dimensional surface created by the Flemish geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator in 1569. It became the standard map projection for nautical purposes, and although the linear scale is equal in all directions around any point, the Mercator projection distorts the size of objects as the latitude increases from the Equator to the poles, where the scale becomes infinite.