Antipodes: The Other Side of the World

There is an informal and anecdotal belief among Americans that if you dig a hole deep enough, eventually you would come out in China. This is theoretically possible if the hole is angled in the right way, but if you dig straight down and through the exact center of the earth from anywhere in the 48 contiguous United States, you'd come out in the Indian Ocean. Only in parts of Argentina or Chile would a straight hole emerge in China.

World and Antipodes

The map on this page allows you to approximately locate the place directly on the other side of the world from anywhere. The complementary red and black outlines are reversed, so that a place in the right place on the black outline map is directly opposite the place on the red outlines. The red outline map is "upside down", with south at the top, so it may be a little confusing to locate places on it.

For example, you can look in the Indian Ocean area of the black outline map, and you can see there the USA in red, upside down between the black outlines of Africa and Australia. If your geography is adequate, you can tell that the furthest away place from New York in the world is a spot a few hundred miles southwest of Perth, Australia, off in the Ocean.

The map does not show small islands well, and several tiny, remote, windblown French posessions in the southern Indian Ocean are not visible. These uninhabited islands are the only land antipodal to land in the contiguous 48 United States: A slice of far northern Montana is directly opposite the Kerguelen Islands, while St. Paul and Amsterdam Islands are opposite southeastern Colorado. Outside the "Lower 48", far northern Alaksa is opposite coastal East Antarctica, and Hawaii is antipodal to the Kalahari Desert in northern Botswana.

The following is a list of very approximate pairs of antipodal cities. Since about 80% of the world's land is antipodal to ocean, this list is necessarily very short. Since the paired cities below are as far apart as possible, they are probably the most expensive pairs of cities when it comes to flying or telephoning between them.

Svalbard, Norway McMurdo Sound, Antarctica
La Coruna, Spain Christchurch, New Zealand
Leon, Spain Wellington, New Zealand
Seville, Spain Auckland, New Zealand
Timbuktu, Mali Fiji
Bermuda Perth, Australia
Bogota, Colombia Jakarta, Indonesia
Lima, Peru Bangkok, Thailand
Asuncion, Paraguay Taipei, Taiwan
Santiago, Chile Xian, China
Buenos Aires, Argentina Shanghai, China
Cordoba, Argentina Wuhan, China
Bahia Blanca, Argentina Beijing, China

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