The Earth is like, balanced!

Ok, I don’t know why I think this is so cool, but playing around with this tool that lets you “dig a hole to China” so to speak…

I notice that almost any point you pick from a continental landmass will end up corresponding to an ocean on the opposite side of the globe. Dig a hole from North America? You hit the Indian Ocean. From Australia? You hit the North Atlantic. From Eurasia or Africa? The Pacific. The only exception I can find is the tip of South America, overlaps into a portion of central Asia, but the bulk of the continent sits opposite the islands of Indonesia.

Coincidence? I’m going with yeah, but for a second there I thought I might be on to some new geological principle :wink:

Of course it helps if you have a 70% chance of hitting water … and only a 30% chance of hitting dirt. And maybe it’s an illusion, but isn’t more than half of the dirt north of the equator?

The northern bit of South America is in Indonesia, and the northwestern bit is in Thailand. But yeah, interesting.

It doesn’t dig directly through the core like I thought it would. From London, it brought up Howland Island, which is just a tiny bit north of the Equator. My geography may not be great, but I can draw a straight line through a globe. Interesting still, though; I’d never heard of Howland Island.

Are you sure you used the map correctly? When I put the crosshairs on London, I get a corresponding point somewhere south of New Zealand.

I put the crosshairs right over where I live, in South London. Maybe it was having a moment. I’ll try it again.

Nope, still Howland Island.

That’s weird, because all the program really does is switch the +/- of the Latitude and subtract 180 from the Longitude.

The coordinates I get for London are approximately (51.5, 0.0), the corresponding point is (-51.5, 0.0)

Maybe Amelia Earhart is trying to tell you something.

Hey, cool!

Very cool. There’s Greenland / Antarctica - northern Alaska and Siberia map to Antarctica too. Hawaii maps to Botswana.

You can see a couple of complete antipodal maps on Wikipedia here. There are only a few places where parts of continents are antipodal to each other, but there is plenty of ocean antipodal to ocean. Maybe about half of it, from the looks of things.

You can hit Antarctica from northern Canada as well.

They don’t have maps for the area, so that was a little disappointing. But the point that corresponds to Manhattan is southwest of Australia, so I’d be in the Southern or Indian Ocean, nowhere near anything and probably cold. Or facing sharks.

I end up in the Indian Ocean, southeast of Madagascar.


Directly Opposite Mecca is a spot in the middle of the South Pacific.
If you were in a boat there, and you were Muslim, you could pray in any direction.

Madrid, Spain is nearly perfectly opposite Wellington, New Zealand. What I think is cool is that if two planes took off from Madrid at the same time and went in any two different directions and flew at the same speed they would reach New Zealand at about the same time.

ETA: On preview I see that CalMeacham illustrated the same concept but with a different example.

No, I don’t think so. I think one plane would have a shorter trip because it was flying with the rotation of the Earth, and the other a longer trip because it was flying against that rotation. That makes a notable difference on even reasonably short flights, like the many I’ve taken from New York to Chicago, so in a trip to Wellington from Madrid I’d expect a difference of several hours.

It’s not the rotation; it’s the prevailing winds.

Right, because the atmosphere is rotating too! A helicopter can’t just hover and wait for the ground to move underneath it.

Okay. Once again, despite my best efforts, I’ve learned something.