What’s on the other side of the world? It’s nearly every American kid’s belief that China is on the exact opposite side. That’s what we were told, right? Dig a hole straight through, and you’d arrive in China.
But like a lot of things we grew up believing, that’s just not so. This map proves it. From anywhere in the continental United States, the exact opposite is somewhere in the Indian Ocean—between Australia and Africa.
The map superimposes the inverse globe on top of itself to illustrate antipodes—the diametrically opposite point from any place on Earth. Most of Earth’s landmass is opposite water—no big surprise considering water covers 71 percent of the surface.
Gadling’s Aaron Hotfelder directed our attention to the antipodal map and an even more precise, interactive map that can plot exact opposite points around the globe and truly show what’s on the other side of the world.
For the record, the exact opposite of Xi’an, China, is Rinconada de Parral—a city about 60 miles outside Santiago, Chile.
Editor’s note (2021): This piece has been updated for clarity, accuracy, and relevance.