Highway signs: when ‘south’ doesn’t mean ‘south’

This is Interstate 85 as it runs through Durham, my current hometown. Here’s the thing, though: they call this “85 South,” as it runs from right to left across your screen. Not only does this confuse the horizontal with the vertical, it completely inverts the compass. When you drive down 85 South out of Durham, you’re actually driving north.


Let’s be honest, shall we? Original photo credit: Wikimedia user MPD01605

But I guess it could be worse.


The Federal Highway Administration, making the impossible happen since 1893. Photo public domain.