MONDAY MASHUP: The Michigan hand map

Strange Maps blog decodes this typical Michigan hand map. Photo: Strange Maps

If you’re a Michigander or a Michigan transplant like me, you have probably done this.

Someone asks you where you live, you lift your hand lift, revealing…the mitten. Also known as the Lower Peninsula.

Living in Lansing, I point to the middle of my palm. I live here.

Perhaps it’s a bit rough. But the hand, in this case, makes a sufficient map. And the Strange Maps blog explains just how this hand map is used and what each finger represents. Like how the thumb outlines the east side of Saginaw Bay and the pinkie represents the Leelanau Peninsula.

And don’t worry, the Upper Peninsula is explained too.

A true mashup? Debatable. But at least this map is on hand (ha!) wherever you go.

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About Alice Rossignol

Alice currently serves as a reporter for Echo. She graduated from the University of Portland in Portland, Oregon with a degree in English Literature and French Language. She will graduate with a master's degree in environmental journalism this May.

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  • Roger

    Right Arm Does the Same for California

    In the mid-’60s, as a native Californian temporarily transplanted to the Buckeye State, I quickly tired of the frequent Michigander’s references to the back of their left hand.

    One day, while comically enduring yet another hand reference to “The Thumb,’ it hit me. I could use my right arm to represent my home state after the Michigander was finished demonstrating Detroit, Bad Axe or Mackinac Island.

    Bent slightly inward at the elbow, and outward at the wrist, I was able to describe that while I was born half-way between between the ‘funny bone’ and the ‘inside elbow’ [antecubital space] [Sacramento], my parents soon moved to where my outer wrist was [Los Angeles], and when a teenager our family would occasionally vacation at the tip of the elbow [San Francisco], and at the antecubital space [Lake Tahoe]. You get the idea!

  • Barb M

    Unless your right pinky is double jointed

  • Anonymous

    …but shouldn’t the U.P. really be part of Wisconsin anyway. Talk
    about diverting natural boundaries. And maybe Michigan should sell the U.P. to Wisconsin.

    1. it would provide money to invest in lower peninsula infrastructure
    such as Detroit’s sewer system and the reinvention of Detroit.

    2. maybe Wisconsin would do a better job of regulating the mining industry.

    I know, ain’t gonna happen but…..

    gw

  • mary

    This as always fun to do to people when we go to conventions out of state and meet someone ,say, from Nebraska. When they ask where I live in Michigan,I point to my hand and show them , they look at me like I owe them more of an explanation or I’m nuts or something till they realize oh yeah, Michigan mitten, and of course this opens up the conversation to where they have relatives or whatever. I love it and I am a MI native that was born,raised,and still resides on the “Sunrise Side”, between the 2nd & 3rd knuckle.

  • Cindy

    I like to extend my little finger a bit to illustrate the location of the Leelanau pennisula.

  • Dave

    Gary, I agree. Except…when you use the left for the Lower Peninsula, the right hand has the wrong orientation for making the Upper Peninsula.

  • Gary

    I hate to be picky but I think your illustration works best for the lower peninsula when the left hand is used and the view is from the top v. the palm.

    This from someone who grew up in Michigan and who uses this illustration frequently.