Britain in clouds (via Strange Maps) “Cartocacoethes” is, apparently, the uncontrollable urge to see maps everywhere, in everything. It’s a flavour of apophenia, which is the experience of seeing patterns in meaningless or random data (e.g., canals on Mars). A well-known version of apophenia is pareidolia, which is when people see significant things in random patterns (e.g., apparitions of the Virgin Mary).

Anyway, John Krygier uses the term to describe a putative map of Çatalhöyük dating from 6200 BC, citing a recent study that casts doubt on its claim as one of the oldest maps in existence. Strange Maps takes it from there, providing a veritable cornucopia of things that look like continents or countries (which, strictly speaking, isn’t exactly the same thing as looking like a map, but what the hell), from clouds to food items to a puddle.