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Cross the Panama Canal, Head South, and You’ll Hit Capetown

December 28, 2010

. . . Or so it would seem, if you were following the map printed in the 20-F filing submitted by Gold Fields Ltd., a South African mining company.  On the second page of its annual report from earlier this month, the company provides images showing the geographical locations of its gold mines around the world.   For example, to the right is the map showing the location of its “West Africa region” mines.

Nothing awry there.  But then we see the map showing the mining locations in  South Africa (below).   And we see that something very strange indeed has happened.  The continent of South America has been dislodged, and in its place has floated the nation of  South Africa (along with Lesotho), having apparently sheered itself clean off the African continent and inflated its size twenty fold.  It has the appearance of a fetal guinea pig lying prostrate, the Mexico-Central American landmass its umbilical cord.

One wonders at the cause of such cataclysmic tectonic upheaval.  (Uh, hmmm . . . Maybe all that mining?)

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