Useful Notes / Digging to China

Neither Europe nor North America, naturally, are anywhere near opposite China. Most of North America's opposite nothing but the vast Indian Ocean and a few scattered islands; some of the northernmost bits do oppose Antarctica; and digging from Hawaii will get you to Botswana. A small amount of people living around Medicine Hat, Alberta might be able to dig to the Kerguelen Islands (Of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, and a bonafide exotic, remote location if there ever was one!). If you are looking for a dry place to start digging, try Argentina; almost all of its land mass is opposite China.

Australia's opposite number is a similarly boring stretch of the Atlantic, although if you took a boat from Perth a few miles out, you can dig to Bermuda. Africans could only dig their way into the Pacific, except for those opposite the various Pacific Islands.

Europeans and West Asians end up in the Pacific or Antarctic ocean, except for some Spaniards or Portuguese who could strike New Zealand, a very few French who could hit the Chatham Islands and a few "lucky" Russians far enough North to again be opposite Antarctica. There are a number of Google Earth-based toys demonstrating this, including "If The Earth Were A Sandwich".

70% of the Earth's surface is water. Mostly, that's where you end up.

To calculate one's antipode, just change the orientation of the latitude (e.g. 44.3 N becomes 44.3 S) and change the orientation of the longitude and subtract it from 180 (e.g. 93 E becomes 87 W). To get a rough idea of it, just use this map or one like it.)

Of course, you could always dig the hole at an angle instead of straight down. Then you could end up anywhere! But then, that would be cheating, and serious China-diggers don't cheat.

Of utter trivial note: If you dug a tunnel through the Earth (and didn't get all melted in the process), and jumped in, it would take 42 minutes to come out the other side if you disregard friction (from air, rails, whatever). This is true whether you dig straight through or on an angle. Without some sort of jet engine, you're also unlikely to actually reach the other side, since gravity and inertia work together to ensure that your deceleration from the centre of the Earth upwards will be the inverse of your acceleration during descent towards it, so you'll only travel the same distance in both directions.note  In other words, if you jump into an insulated vacuum tube from, say, Hong Kong you will end up at sea level in the middle of the Andes, with several thousand metres to go before you see daylight. Even if both antipodes are at the same relative height, you'd better have someone prepared to grab you quickly at the other end before you start falling back towards your starting point.

Now where's that shovel?