World maps typically rely on projecting the Earth’s spherical surface onto a plane which makes it hard to compare the relative sizes of territories. Globes are equally difficult to use for this purpose. This generally means that people tend to perceive territory sizes incorrectly.
Studio Art. Lebedev in Russia created an amazing infographic that shows the real proportions of all land masses revealing actual areas of countries, territories and major islands without any distortions. Important economic indicators serve as a useful addition to the diagram and enhance the overall picture of the world.
Countries on the infographic are arranged by descending size, shown without external or dependent territories and distributed by continents according to the United Nations geoscheme. The beautiful work invites the viewer to a close examination and does not fail to impress (click to enlarge).
UPDATE: some commenters have noted that some territories on the infographic are not actual countries, as in the case of Hawaii (part of US) or Greenland (part of Denmark). The case of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the Southern Caucasus is even much more complicated: even though Russia recognizes them as states, they are recognised by most countries as parts of Georgia occupied by the Russian military.