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Strange Maps

459 – Marge Simpson’s European Adventure

Marge Simpson probably is the world’s best-known octodactylous (1) housewife. With her distinctive blue beehive hairdo, she is an instantly recognisable fixture on The Simpsons, the animated sitcom now in its 21st season that is America’s longest-running prime-time tv show.

If she’s made an impression on a global audience, she’s also had an impact on the interpretation of the very geography of the world, or at least of Europe. This example of cartozoology (2) was sent in by Micky Hulse, who’s always thought that “parts of Europe resemble a profile view of Marge”, and proceeded to make this map to prove his point.

  • France is Marge’s face, Paris being her eyeball and Brittany her nose. Her mouth is the Loire river.
  • Marge’s distinctive red necklace is identical with the Pyrennees chain of mountains, which neatly divides France from Spain. Portugal is the top bit of her eternal green dress.
  • Most of Europe is coloured blue, to correspond with Marge’s huge B-52-style beehive: the Benelux countries, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Switzerland, Austria, northern Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech and Slovak republics, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine.
  • The original location of Mr Hulse’s map is here. —— (1) or eight-fingered, if you prefer the demotic term. Many cartoon characters (not just those that populate the Simpsons’ world) have only four fingers on each hand, to simplify the way they’re drawn. Apparently, in The Simpsons, only God has five fingers on each hand… (2) the detection of living creatures in maps, as described earlier on this blog in posts #119#340#420,  and, last nor least: #422.


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