The Mediterranean Sea of America
So, I tend to have a yearning for cartography. It may stem from my background as an architect, an artistic, technical and graphically based profession. But, I also have always had a need to understand the world we live in, explore new things, see the things that we in America are so far removed from. It does seem that we have blinders on sometimes. Honestly, the United States has so much and dominates so much culture it isn’t very hard to think that this is all there is. Exploring both historical and modern maps can bring the rest of the world into focus. Exploring map based infographics can be very enlightening as you try to understand relationships between all parts of the globe.
I had the pleasure of taking a cruise around the Mediterranean a few years ago. My wife and I had such a great time exploring the historical places and artifacts and the life of strange cities. I thought, wouldn’t it be great if the Mediterranean wasn’t so far away?
Well, I was examining maps and globes and realized that the Mediterranean Sea is at the same Latitude as the United States. If only it were possible to rotate the Mediterranean Sea around to our side of the planet? Would it fit? What effect would this have? What about the states… new coastlines in the middle of the country… new relationships… states torn in pieces?
A couple of screen captures, lots of graphic manipulation and now we know. The Mediterranean Sea fits within the confines of the United States of America. In a way, it is pretty amazing how big the Mediterranean Sea is. We always think if the United States as a vast country, more than 3000 miles from east coast to west coast. It used to be quite a task to traverse that distance. Amazingly, ancient mariners of the Mediterranean traversed similar vast areas of water for their commerce, and conquests.
So, what have we done? This is a new vision of the United States of America. A few states have been unaffected by this mash-up. Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Main and Florida. Yes, I am ignoring Alaska and Hawaii since they are remote, sorry.
It’s interesting to note that by adding the Black Sea, it nicely takes the place of our own Great Lakes. The Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec get new coastlines, but Lower Ontario becomes an isolated piece on the US side. A Canadian interloper if you will. Although the Great Lakes are very large, I believe the area of the Black Sea is larger than the combined Great Lakes. In this alternate US the remaining areas of the Great Lakes become great grassy plains… perhaps, International Park Reserves, or snatched up by neighboring states. Michigan loses a large portion of its “mitten” and the upper peninsula becomes the state it always wanted to be, Superior.
The “rust belt” area of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania would approximate the area of Turkey. Illinois becomes a state of great island outcroppings and the
. Kentucky hugs the southern coastline of the new “rust belt”. The Greek Islands of Karpathos and Rhodes would be part of Kentucky. What a history to explore.
The South has been largely supplanted by the
, the eastern arm of the Mediterranean. The southern states have been effectively cut in half. Oddly, mirroring the Turkish grab of part of the Island of Cyprus, West Virginia has grabbed a part of this alternate Cyprus that is mostly in Virginia. The State of Tennessee has been reduced to a portion of the former Island of Crete.
Missouri would take most of the Greek peninsula, the Peloponnese, most of Crete, and many islands. Iowa gains great rocky coastlines on both the east and west. The new
that takes the place of the former
reaches into North Dakota and cuts South Dakota into the new states of East Dakota and West Dakota. West Dakota is the new Tuscany and East Dakota approximates Croatia. Nebraska is now the main “boot” of Italy with coast on the east and west. Kansas takes over the “toe” of Italy and Sicily (except Colorado has made a foothold on the western tip).
along the west coast of the Italian peninsula becomes the
and reaches all the way up to Montana and the Custer’s Battlefield Monument. Wyoming has split into the new state of Yellowstone (with the amazing Yellowstone Park) and the Wyoming Islands (Corsica and the Northern part of Sardinia). Idaho gains new coastline.
Texas, New Mexico and Colorado have a great new coastline. Although Colorado has been mostly swallowed up and maintains the southern part of Sardinia and an outpost on Sicily.
Utah has split into the coastal area along the northern edge of Arizona and the Great Salt Islands. Nevada has lost the southern portion to a new state called Las Vegas. In return they get a Mediterranean coastline. I think that would be a good trade.
The new “Sea of California”, the western outlet, splits the state into Northern California and Southern California… most Californians want that anyway. This leads us to the “Strait of Pismo” and out to the Pacific Ocean. There just may be a “Rock of Pismo” in place of the “Rock of Gibraltar”. Not quite the cache’… I would say.
So, a brave new alternate United States of America with its great inland sea. What a different world it might have been, or might be in another alternate world. If I were a writer, I would love to explore the alternate history of the United States in this new version. Does anyone want to tackle it? I’ll take concept credits;-)