Wednesday, March 01, 2006

To Antipode...

The far side of the world. Antipode. Where is it? I mean where is it exactly? I had a thought the other day about literally going to the furthest possible point on the planet away from my home in Dublin. Any further and I would already have started coming back. I reckon this would be a pretty cool thing for any traveller to do.

So I set about working it out, and it seems there is quite a good bit of information about it available online. But it also seems that for the vast majority of us we will never be able to reach our antipode, that is, unless you have access to a boat capable of handling vast ocean crossings. As it turns out, most of the antipodean points for most land masses are in the middle of an ocean. I suppose you might get lucky and land on an island, but you'd have to be very lucky indeed.

Anyway, to work it out exactly you need to get your latitude and longditude points for where you live. This can be done easily via Google Earth (if you don't have it - get it!!). To find the antipode point for anywhere in the world you need to litterally invert the co-ordinates. For the latitude its just a case of changing North to South or vice-versa. The number remains the same. For the longditude you subtract your co-ordinates from 180 and change from West to East or East to West. Lets use my home town (Dublin) as an example:

Dublin: Latitude 59.19N, Longditude 06.14E.

Change latitude to 59.19S (swap North for South or vice versa)

Subtract longditude from 180 to get 173.46W (swap East for West or vice versa)

Enter your new co-ordinates into Google Earth (these new co-ordinates would be entered as 59.19S, 173.46W) to go to your antipode. Easy.

Another way would be to check out this map. Simply check whats behind where you live to see whereabouts your antipode is. Click it to open up the page where I found it and a better version too.

My antipode turns out to be smack in the middle of the ocean between New Zealand and Antartica so I guess I won't be able to visit it any time soon. Even the nearest land mass is 400km from there - Campbell Island. It's a tiny unihabited island that is part of New Zealand territory and, I'm told, is home to the largest colony of King Albatross in the world. So I guess its not that bad a place. But since no one lives there it'd be pretty impossible (or too expensive) to charter a boat to get me there. Oh well. Here's hoping!! Maybe some of you guys will have some luck.