Centuries-old maps unfurl different views of our world

Maps represent the ultimate marriage of art and science. Yes, they must be reasonably accurate – if they’re not, they’re useless – but given a choice between a map that is perfectly correct and one that’s correct but also has mermaids and monsters and fancy old ships swimming in its seas and an area marked “Here Be Dragons,” most people would take the second option.

Circa 1635 map of the Amazon region, showing the fictional Lake Parime, estimated at $400-$500

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