Funny Bits, Travel

July 17, 2008

Ever wondered what’s on the other side of the earth?

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Have you ever thought what is on the opposite side of the earth? Imagine drilling a hole through the earth to the other side, you get the picture? I was wondering about that a long time ago, but get to see who lives on the other side just recently. First I had to find out how is it called, scientifically…

In geography, the antipodes (from Greek anti- “opposed” and pous “foot”) of any place on Earth is its antipodal point; that is, the region on the Earth’s surface which is diametrically opposite to it. Two points which are antipodal to one another are connected by a straight line through the centre of the Earth.

Earth antipodes map The coordinates of an antipode are in fact easily calculated by the following formula: If the coordinates (longitude and latitude) of a point on the Earth’s surface are (θ, φ), then the coordinates of the antipodal point can be written as (θ ± 180°,−φ). But there’s no actual need for you to calculate this, there are plenty of interactive maps online that will show you the exact antipode providing the initial point on earth. I know you must be anxious to find out who lives on the other side, so go ahead then, try these links: Map Tunneling Tool or Antipodes Map.

Disappointed? Chances are nobody lives there, since 70% of the earth are oceans and the majority of locations on land do not have land-based antipodes. But there are still a few match-ups.

Beijing have it’s antipode in Argentina, a city called Bahia Blanca, in fact the exact antipode of Bahia Blanca would be Tianjin so let’s just say somewhere near. Chisnau‘s antipode is somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean, so nobody on the other side except maybe some sharks and fishes. Xi’an have as antipode – Santiago, or more precisely Rancagua or San Bernardo in Chile. Drilling a hole from Shanghai will get you to Salto, Uruguay. Taiwan’s capital Taipei is antipodal to Paraguay’s capital – Asunción.

The almost exact list of antipodes includes: Wuhai (China) – Valdivia (Chile), Hamilton (New Zealand) – Cordoba (Spain), Palembang (Indonesia) – Neiva (Colombia) and some other. There are also a few curiosities in that matter, for instance Taiwan which was formerly called Formosa is partly antipodal to the province of Formosa in Argentina. Or Cheju Do island which is the southernmost Korean territory is antipodal to Brazilia’s most southerly town of Santa Vitoria do Palmar. And of course let’s not forget the North Pole and the South Pole – antipodes by definition.

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