What’s on the Other Side of the World?


If you were to pick a spot on Earth and start tunneling until you came out on the other side of the world, where would you be?  The spot diametrically opposed to a location on Earth is called the antipode.  The word comes from Greek and translates to “with feet opposite”.

Since the Earth’s surface is 71% water, most antipodes tend to have one location that is ocean.  Only about 3% of the Earth’s surface has land to land antipodal locations [1]. The largest area of antipodal land is between the tip of South America and eastern Central Asia.

This map of the earth shows which lands areas have an antipode which is also on land.  The blue areas show the land and the overlapping yellow and red areas show the corresponding antipode for that land.  Red areas are land which have a antipode that is also land.

Map of antipodes of the Earth, in Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projection. Map: Citynoise, Mediawiki commons, CC BY 2.0

Map of antipodes of the Earth, in Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projection. Map: Citynoise, Mediawiki commons, CC BY 2.5

How to find the antipode

To find the point on Earth that is diametrically opposed to another point on Earth, you can use the site, Antipodes Map.  Built using open source data from OpenStreetMap, the application lets you type in an address, location, or coordinates to see the antipode.

Visit: Antipodes Map

References

Spilhaus, A. (1991). Atlas of the world with geophysical boundaries: showing oceans, continents and tectonic plates in their entirety (Vol. 196). American Philosophical Society.



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