Remember that Looney Tunes cartoon where Wile E. Coyote is after the Road Runner with a rocket that ends up diverting and boring down through the earth and ending up in China?
You do know, of course, that that’s physically impossible-if you drilled a hole through the earth from anywhere in North America, you would NOT end up in China? Not sure about that? Have a look at this:
I started thinking about this the other day–how friends and relatives often refer to us as living on “the other side of the earth,” but that this is technically not true. (I’m sorry. My mind works like this.)
I got to wondering, what is on the other side of the earth from China, anyhow? Or what’s on the other side of the earth from our former home in Toronto?
Did you know that there’s a map program out there that will tell you? Wile E. must not have known about it in his day.
According to Wikipedia, “In geography, the antipodes ( /ænˈtɪpədiːz/; from Greek: ἀντίποδες, from anti- “opposed” and pous “foot”) of any place on Earth is the point on the Earth’s surface which is diametrically opposite to it. Two points that are antipodal (/ænˈtɪpədəl/) to one another are connected by a straight line running through the centre of the Earth.”
So, the Antipode Map is the map that will tell you where you would end up if you really did what Wile E. Coyote did and drilled a hole to the other side of the earth. Chances are, it ain’t China! Try it and see:
The answer to my question about our former home in Toronto? Drill a hole to the other side, you’ll end up off the coast of Australia. Whaddaya know?
I further thought that this would make an interesting unit study. Obviously, studying the various antipodes would be the geography portion, but for literature, you could add Jules Vernes’ Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and for the science component, a study of the geology of earth’s layers using the charming and educational How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World.
And there you have it: random facts, a homeschool unit study and a glimpse into the tangled workings of my brain.