Have you ever wondered which part of the other side of the world is directly below you? In fact, there is a scientific name for points opposite each other on the Earth’s surface. The term is called antipodes and is often used to describe New Zealand as it is roughly opposite to the United Kingdom. According to World Atlas, only around 15 percent of ‘territorial land’ is antipodal to the other land. So, how hard is it to find someone living on the other side of the globe?
Well, two nerdy men did it. Among them, one is from Auckland, New Zealand called Etienne Naude who had struggled for years to find someone in Spain, on the other end of the planet. He finally found someone after posting on the online message board, Reddit. Together, they coordinated their exact longitudes and latitudes to make sure they were precisely the opposite. Reaching upon the exact opposite spot to each other, they created an ‘Earth sandwich’ by placing slices of bread precisely on those points.
“It was quite hard to organize since it’s 12-hour time difference. And there are lots of things to arrange, such as the kind of bread, the time, the (precise) location, et cetera.” Naude told the BBC. While Naude only had to travel a few hundred kilometres to find a suitable public spot on his side of the world, his Spanish counterpart had to travel 11 kilometres.
Naude used a ‘near top of the range laser cutter’, to burn an ‘Earth sandwich’ design onto 20 slices of bread, then used one slice to mark his exact, tightly-defined sandwich spot in New Zealand. His counterpart used nine slices of unmarked bread to make sure he covered the exact spot. The image was eventually shared on Reddit where it was appreciated. While some called it adorable, others were simply surprised.
The UK, Australia and most of the United States do not have antipodal land points – the other side of the world is water. World Atlas says ‘the two largest antipodal areas inhabited by humankind are located in East Asia and South America’.
Cover Image Credit: Etienne Naude