While each of these maps is incredibly striking, it isn't always easy to recognize the places within them as spots on our Earth. Some of them look straight out a J.R.R. Tolkien novel, while others are more fanciful takes on familiar countries.

The World Map from the Saint-Sever Beatus, an apocalypse manuscript from the mid-11th century

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(via Dictionnaires et Encyclopédies sur 'Academic')

The San Andrés del Arroyo Beatus map, made around 1248

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(via Cartographic Images)

Europe as a Queen, printed by Sebastian Munster in Basel, 1570

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(via Wikimedia Commons)

The entire world in the shape of a clover leaf, with Jerusalem at the center, a stylized world map by Heinrich BĂĽnting, first printed in 1581

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(via Wikimedia Commons)

Leo Belgicus, by Pieter van der Keere, in1617, originally designed by Michael Aitzinger

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(via Wikimedia Commons)

Bohemia as a rose, first drawn up by Christoph Vetter, early 17th century

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(via BigThink)

A leather glove painted with a map of London landmarks, designed to help ladies during the Great Exhibition held in Hyde Park, 1851

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(via The National Archives)

The dream of a honeycomb-shaped ideal London, by John Leighton, 1865

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Pictorial maps of European countries by William Harvey, 1868

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(via BPL)

The Porcineograph, a map of the United States in the shape of a pig surrounded by pigs representing the different states, with notations of state foods, c. 1876

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(via Library of Congress)

Flat Earth map, drawn by Orlando Ferguson, 1893

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(via Wikimedia Commons)

Angling in troubled waters, by Frederick W. Rose, 1899

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(via BPL)

Map Showing the Course of the Truelove River, 1904

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(via Retronaut)

A hand map of Santa Cruz, designed by Polly Hill, published in 1912

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(via Strange Maps)

Handy Map of San Francisco Bay, found in a 1938 Cartoon Guide to California by Reg Manning

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(via Strange Maps)