The New Navel of the Moon. It’s so poetic, isn’t it? (And sure, maybe a bit anatomically confusing.) That’s the real meaning behind the state name New Mexico, and it’s one of many etymological gems uncovered by cartographers Stephan Hormes and Silke Peust while they were creating this U.S. map depicting the original, literal meanings behind the states and cities we know today.
“The inspiration was my interest in etymology and my profession as a cartographer," Hormes tells Co.Design. "I started to exchange real names for rue names and the world became a strange romantic continent. It’s obvious to me that after five years of changing names on maps, I must do it. No map is safe.”