This Literature Map of the World Shows You Every Country's Favourite Book

Luke Abrahams - Everyone loves a good book right? Well, guess what. A savvy reddit user has put together this awesome literary map of the world that shows what everyone's mad for reading.

Bored of Harry Potter, tired of the Millennium trilogy, can’t be bothered to finish War and Peace? Well this map will make your morning commute that little more interesting.

Thanks to reddit user Backforward24, you can now see what the entire world’s favourite books are.

Each book represented in the map is marked by that country’s most famous or important novel.

Obviously the map is going to cause quite the stir. For Russia, for example, Backforward24 went with Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, but we’re sure many of you will make a case for one, if not several of Dostoevsky’s works.

The UK has Pride and Prejudice, Spain – Shadow in the Wind, Iran – Persepolis and Ireland – Ulysses. The USA? To Kill a Mockingbird, of course and Canada – Anne of Green Gables, but it should really have been Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale
What is amazing though, is when you scroll over places like Africa and Asia.

We’re all down on our classics (those lovely books we all had to read at school), but have you ever picked up a copy of Sony Labou Tansi’s The Antipeople?

Thought not. Off to the bookshop wethinks!

This Man is Planting a Forest to Save His Island

See how one man is single-handedly planting a forest to save his river island in India.

Since 1979, Jadav Payeng has been planting hundreds of trees on an Indian island threatened by erosion. In this film, photographer Jitu Kalita traverses Payeng’s home—the largest river island in the world—and reveals the touching story of how this modern-day Johnny Appleseed turned an eroding desert into a wondrous oasis. Funded in part by Kickstarter, "Forest Man" was directed by William Douglas McMaster and won Best Documentary for the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014.

Making North America: Origins

Experience the colossal geologic forces that shaped our continent over 3 billion years.

New Survey Estimates Earth Has 60,065 Tree Species

Researchers from Botanic Gardens Conservation International compiled the list, finding that at least 10,000 tree species are at risk of extinction

It may seem hard to believe, but until recently, researchers could only really guess as to the number of tree species on Earth. But a new project recently completed by U.K.-based Botanic Gardens Conservation International has finally come up with a solid number: there are 60,065 tree species globally.

According to a press release, researchers at the organization spent more than two years poring through 500 botanical collections and sources and consulting with global tree experts to come up their database, which is now available on BGCI’s website. The database not only lists the tree species, but also includes their national distribution and conservation status.

“Although it seems extraordinary that it has taken us until 2017 to publish the first global, authoritative list of tree species, it is worth remembering that GlobalTreeSearch represents a huge scientific effort encompassing the discovery, collection and describing of tens of thousands of plant species,” says BGCI Secretary General Paul Smith. “This is ‘big science’ involving the work of thousands of botanists over a period of centuries.”

A paper on how the database was compiled and its findings appears in the Journal of Sustainable Forestry.

Agence France-Presse reports that the survey suggests that Brazil is the world tree champ with 8,715 species, including 4,333 endemic species, or trees that only occur in that country. Colombia comes in second with 5,776 species and Indonesia is third with 5,142.

But the list isn’t just about leafy bragging rights. “BGCI's main reason for publishing the list is to provide a tool for people trying to conserve rare and threatened tree species,” the organization writes in its press release. In fact, it found 10,000 species of trees are threatened with extinction and there are 300 species identified with 50 or fewer individuals left. Mark Kinver at the BBC reports that one of those is Karomia gigas, a tree in Tanzania that has only six specimens remaining.

“Getting location information, such as which countries do these trees occur in, gives us key information for conservation purposes,” Smith tells Kinver. “That is hugely useful for us in prioritizing which ones we need to do conservation action on and which ones we need to do assessments to find out what their status is.”

This project is just one of several recent studies helping researchers getting a handle on the planet's trees. In 2015, a study found that there are likely more than 3 trillion individual trees on the planet, significantly more than the 400 billion previously proposed. Last summer, ecologists combed natural history specimens to find that the Amazon Basin has at least 11,676 species of trees, estimating that roughly 4,000 species in the area have yet to be discovered.

When they are, they’ll be welcome in the new database, which the AFP reports will be continually updated.

Map of El Salvador

Map of El Salvador.

Map of Egypt

Map of Egypt.

Map of Ecuador

Map of Ecuador.

Why is the sky blue?

To understand why the sky is blue, we first need to understand a little bit about light. Although light from the sun looks white it is really made up of a spectrum of many different colours, as we can see when they are spread out in a rainbow.

We can think of light as being a wave of energy, and different colours all have a different wavelength. At one end of the spectrum is red light which has the longest wavelength and at the other is blue and violet lights which have a much shorter wavelength.

Why is the sky blue?
When the sun's light reaches the Earth's atmosphere it is scattered, or deflected, by the tiny molecules of gas (mostly nitrogen and oxygen) in the air. Because these molecules are much smaller than the wavelength of visible light, the amount of scattering depends on the wavelength. This effect is called Rayleigh scattering, named after Lord Rayleigh who first discovered it.

Shorter wavelengths (violet and blue) are scattered the most strongly, so more of the blue light is scattered towards our eyes than the other colours. You might wonder why the sky doesn't actually look purple, since violet light is scattered even more strongly than blue. This is because there isn't as much violet in sunlight to start with, and our eyes are much more sensitive to blue.

The blue light that gives the sky its colour, is sufficiently bright to make all the stars that we see at night disappear since the light they emit is much dimmer.

Why does the blue fade towards the horizon?

You might also notice that the sky tends to be most vibrant overhead and fades to pale as its reaches the horizon.This is because the light from the horizon has had further to travel through the air and so has been scattered and rescattered. The Earth's surface also plays a role scattering and reflecting this light.

As a result of this increased amount of scattering, the dominance of blue light is decreased and so we see an increased amount of white light.