I have heard it said more than once—on Wikipedia, for example—that the étale topology on the category of, say, smooth varieties over $\mathbb{C}$, is equivalent to the Euclidean topology. I have not seen a good explanation for this statement, however.

If we consider the relatively simple example of $\mathbb{P}^1_\mathbb{C}$, it seems to me that an étale map is just a branched cover by a Riemann surface, together with a Zariski open subset of $\mathbb{P}^1_\mathbb{C}$ that is disjoint from the ramification locus. (If there is a misconception there, small or large, please let me know) The connection to the Euclidean topology on $\mathbb{P}^1_\mathbb{C}$, however, is not obvious to me.

What is the correct formulation of the statement that the two topologies are equivalent, or what is a good way to compare them?