On the Antipode with Bad Maths

Nothing special really. At least from where I stand.

Only Atlantic ocean swells for company, and the nearest major land mass would be Portugal or Spain, depending on currents, but it would be safer by far to swim for the closer Archipelago of the Azores, specifically São Miguel island, being the most populated. They have a good dairy industry I believe.

A Dairy Cow. May contain dairy products.

However, the ocean in this region though is populated by sixteen registered shark communities, including most of the biggies (Great White, Tiger, Oceanic Whitetip, and Hammerhead), as well as posing the ubiquitous threat of orcas.

Your antipode (pronounced an-tip-odd-ee), dear reader, is the opposite point on the earth to which you are standing.

The World with all its Antipodes

That is if you tunnelled straight down and then up (because gravity would swap halfway) the point at which you’d emerge is the antipode. A common generalisation (or mis-generalisation) of this principle is ‘digging to China’ which only really applies if you are in or around Chile or thereabouts.. (And I’m sure they didn’t invent the saying.) Australia unfortunately is nestled snugly within the Atlantic Ocean. Likewise, any particularly adventurous/ambitious American children or indeed citizens attempting such an adventure will surely be disappointed by the low phytoplankton count of the Indian Ocean.

A Phytoplankton. The ocean wonder that Americans will be missing out on. (Not for individual sale)


This is hardly surprising, seeing as 71% of the Earth’s surface is water. Assuming even distribution of land masses you’d have only a 29% chance of having a land antipode. Estimates of the current world population are 6.9 billion. Again making unwarranted assumptions, this time of an evenly distributed human population, about 4.9 BILLION people have an antipode that WOULD KILL THEM. If they weren’t in a boat or some other floating, life-sustaining craft. Someone should make a movie about that (ie: everyone suddenly finding themselves at their antipode)… Of course this doesn’t take into consideration Antarctica, where Greenlanders, upper Canadians and a few hardy Russians would end up (gives new meaning to ‘Cold War’ doesn’t it?). I approximate another 200000 or so to write off as casualties of science fiction.

The world in this instance would have to be repopulated by Chileans, Chinese, New Zealanders from the North Island, Spanish, Indonesians, additional South Americans whose antipodes happened to correspond with Indonesia, and any marine life that subsequently developed a taste for human flesh and went off in search of it on land. Most of the populations of America, Russia, Australia, Africa, India and Europe, et al, would find themselves bewildered in a vast expanse of water.

If it’s any consolation, dear reader, a lot of sharks, orcas and other would-be marine predators would conceivably end up ‘beached as’ if they simultaneously had to suffer they same fate (why just people?). They also have the added disadvantage of sudden pressure changes, enabling the deeper sea critters (sperm whales, angler fish, etc) to explode in a most spectacular fashion. = Land animal win.

Angler Fish: The grumpy old men of the sea. This is actually a female. The males are much smaller and latch on and ultimately fuse to the female for life.


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