Antipodes: where you end up if you dig a tunnel through the earth
We have all fantasized about where you would end up if you would dig a tunnel straight down through the earth and resurface at the other side of the globe. In geography, points at exact opposite points on our globe are called antipodes.
Reddit user mattsdfgh came up with a brilliant way to visualize that almost philosophical question, digging across the earth to your antipode, with the map below.
There are quite some remarkable observations to be made on this map.
For example if you dig a long tunnel from any point in the US you will end up somewhere in the Indian ocean. And most likely drown….hypothetically of course!
The people from Europe and Africa would also be up for a wet surprise as their antipodal tunnels would end up in the Pacific ocean. And Australians would end up in the Atlantic.
All this makes quite some statistical sense if you realise that 71% of the earth’s surface consists of water.
For Kiwis there is good news as half of them would end up in Spain and the other half right in its territorial waters of the Atlantic.
From a colder perspective it can be noted that Greenland and the arctic part of Canada are antipodes with eastern Antarctica. No trip to the sun for them unfortunately.
Shanghai and Buenos Aires are ‘almost antipodal’ with a distance of only 380km apart.
Other near antipodal cities worth mentioning are:
- Christchurch (New Zealand) — A Coruña (Spain)
- Wellington New Zealand) — Alaejos (Spain)
- Hong Kong — La Quiaca (Argentina)
- Ulan Ude (Russia) — Puerto Natales (Chile)
- Mangawhai (New Zealand) – Gibraltar
Approximately 15% of the world’s land territory is antipodal to other land, representing approximately 4.4% of the Earth’s surface.
By definition, the North Pole and the South Pole are antipodes.
Where would you end up if you dug a tunnel from you city?
Let us know in the comments…