Thursday, December 11, 2008

Going To The Antipodes...

...Well Not Quite

As we are closing our luggage for our Christmas vacation to the other side of the (big) pond (aka the Pacific Ocean) it reminded me of something I read a few months ago about antipodes.

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.

We have actually lived at the antipodes of the world since China and Argentina are at the opposite side of the globe and we've visited two antipodes cities: Santiago in Chile and Xian in China.

To check out antipodes cities:,,

Gibraltar is antipodal to a land location on Great Barrier Island about 130 km from Auckland, New Zealand. This illustrates the old bromide that the sun never set on the British Empire; the sun still does not set on the British Commonwealth.

The northern part of New Caledonia, still an overseas territory of France, is antipodal to some thinly-populated desert in Mauritania, a part of the former French West Africa. As with the British Empire, the sun never set on the French Empire at its peak, either.