Finding Antipodes: If You Dug Straight Through the Earth, Where Would You End Up?

Fagjun | Published 2017-07-25 04:17


A new interactive map will show you where your location's antipode is on Earth. Antipodes are two points on a sphere that are furthest apart from each other.


A lot of kids have probably wondered where they'd end up if the dug straight through the Earth. American kids thought that they'd end up in China, and cartoons often depicting people emerging from the ground to find themselves in an exotic Chinese town. Of course, if Americans dug straight through to their location's antipode, they won't end up in what they thought was the other side of the world. In fact, many of us would probably end up in the bottom of an ocean if dug through to the other side of the planet.


If you live somewhere in the northern hemisphere, chances are high that you'd end up in the ocean. The southern hemisphere has a lot of water, which means that it's more likely that that's where you'd pop up.


Digging Across the Earth


Of course, this is all just for fun. We can't actually tunnel through the planet like a crazed villain or a hyperenergetic cartoon woodpecker. For fun, though, let's say that we were able to dig through to the antipodes of our locations. What would doing so entail?


For one thing, we'd have to dig through thousands of kilometers of molten rock. This is so much easier said than done. The deepest that humans have ever dug is the Kola Superdeep Borehole. In spite of the name, it's actually not that deep, technically. The hole is 7.5 miles deep, and it took 25 years to dig it up. The hole didn't even go through the continental crust.


So say that we could penetrate this continental crust and go through the next layer. The next problem would be whether or not we'd survive the hole we'd gotten ourselves into. First, we'd have to be able to withstand higher temperatures. Also, we'd have to figure out a way to safely get through the large layer of molten magma and the super hot liquid outer and inner core.


How to Reach the Antipodes of Where We Are


And that's just the temperature. We haven't even considered the pressure we'd be under as we go further into the Earth. Also, as we go deeper down, we'd spinning along with the Earth at a faster rate. Therefore, not only would we need protection against intense heat and pressure, we'd also need inner ears made of some mithril-adamantium alloy.


So let's recap: what would we need to get to our respective antipodes? First, we'd need a lot of time. Second, we'd need a lot of special equipment that can dig through the earth's hard crust, protect us from high heat and pressure, protect us from molten magma, and help us adapt to the higher spinning speeds as we deeper down the tunnel. If we had all this, then maybe we can reach the antipode of our location. Of course, that's a lot of optimism. Then again, this is all just for fun, right?

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