The Earth puzzle is based on type of map called a polyhedral projection, where the sphere is projected onto a shape with planar faces and then unfolded flat. In this case, the globe is projected onto a icosahedron, a 20 sided shape of equilateral triangles. This reduces the distortion seen in most maps. This type of map was most famously explored by Buckminster Fuller with his Dymaxion Map. However, unlike the Dymaxion Map, our map is equal-area, meaning the relative size of landmasses is preserved exactly.
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