By Tim Collins

Ever wondered where you would end up if you dug straight through the Earth?

Children the world over are often told that if they burrow far enough through the ground, they would end up in another country.

In the UK, the belief is they would end up in Australia, whereas Americans believe they would wind up in China, the Daily Mail reports.

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Digging a hole from the centre of Beijing, you would emerge in Rio Negro, near Bahia Blanca in Argentina. Photo / Antipodes Maps
Digging a hole from the centre of Beijing, you would emerge in Rio Negro, near Bahia Blanca in Argentina. Photo / Antipodes Maps

But a fascinating map has revealed that most populated places on Earth have an opposite point somewhere in the ocean.

The interactive Antipodes Map lets you check any location on the surface of the planet to check where it's opposite point is.

The Chinese are among the relative minority of countries who would strike land if they were to undertake this enterprise, according to the website where you can try out the tool for yourself.

Digging a hole from the centre of Beijing, you would emerge in Rio Negro, near Bahia Blanca in Argentina.

Other major or capital cities that are close to being antipodes include Auckland, New Zealand, and Seville and Malaga in Spain.

Exact antipodes include Ulan Ude in Russia and Puerto Natales in Chile.

The two largest inhabited antipodal areas are located in East Asia, in China and Mongolia, and South America, in Argentina and Chile.

"The Australian mainland is the largest landmass with its antipodes entirely in ocean," the Antipodes website writes.

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"The majority of locations on land do not have land-based antipodes."

This map shows the opposite sides of the Earth laid on top of one another. As shown by the lack of overlap, there are very few places to dig without hitting ocean. Photo / Imgur/Reddit
This map shows the opposite sides of the Earth laid on top of one another. As shown by the lack of overlap, there are very few places to dig without hitting ocean. Photo / Imgur/Reddit

The largest antipodal land masses are the Malay Archipelago, which is opposite the Amazon Basin and adjoining Andean ranges.

Given that the surface of the earth is around 71 per cent water, it's probably unsurprising that the chances of hitting land are relatively low.

An American digging a hole from Times Square in New York would end up in the ocean off the coast of Australia.

Brits wouldn't fare much better, with a tunnel dug from under the Houses of Parliament finishing up off the coast of New Zealand.

Japanese tunnel diggers starting in Tokyo would surface off the coast of Uruguay.

And Russians digging from Moscow would find themselves in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

There are no non-stop scheduled flights between any two antipodal locations by commercial airline service.

Brits would finish up off the coast of New Zealand. Photo / Antipodes Maps
Brits would finish up off the coast of New Zealand. Photo / Antipodes Maps

But a hypothetically perfect antipode flight would be Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport, Morocco to Whangarei Aerodrome, New Zealand, a flight of approximately 12,500 miles (20,000km).

The North and South pole are, by definition, antipodes.

Scientists have previously calculated the journey time, were tunnel diggers to make it all the way through the Earth's core and out to the other side.

Research has previously found that it would take a person 38 minutes to fall from one side of the planet to the other.

Russians digging from Moscow would find themselves in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Photo / Antipodes Maps
Russians digging from Moscow would find themselves in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Photo / Antipodes Maps

The latest time estimate was calculated by Alexander Klotz, a graduate student of physics at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and published in The American Journal of Astrophysics.

Originally it was believed that this would take it would take 42 minutes and 12 seconds to fall through.

But the hypothetical scenario, published in 2015 scenario, found that when the different densities of Earth's layers are taken into account, the trip is four minutes shorter than predicted.

Antipode cities at a glance

Cities which are almost exact antipodes

• Christchurch (New Zealand) and A Coruna (Spain)
• Madrid (Spain) and Weber (New Zealand)
• Wellington (New Zealand) and Alaejos (Spain)
• Hong Kong (China) and La Quiaca (Argentina)
• Nelson (New Zealand) and Mogadouro (Portugal
• Whangarei (New Zealand) and Tangier (Morocco)
• Tauranga (New Zealand) and Jaen (Spain)
• Hamilton (New Zealand) and Cordoba (Spain)
• Junin (Argentina) and Lianyungang (China)
• Ulan Ude (Russia) and Puerto Natales (Chile)
• Masterton (New Zealand) and Segovia (Spain)
• Palembang (Indonesia) and Neiva (Colombia)
• Wuhai (China) and Valdivia (Chile)
• Padang (Indonesia) and Esmeraldas (Ecuador)

Major cities close to being antipodes

• Auckland (New Zealand) and Seville and Malaga (Spain)
• Xi'an (China) and Santiago (Chile)
• Shanghai (China) and Buenos Aires (Argentina)
• Beijing (China) and Bahia Blanca (Argentina)
• Taipei (Taiwan) and Asuncion (Paraguay)
• Bangkok (Thailand) and Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Lima (Peru)
• Montevideo (Uruguay) and Seoul (South Korea)
• Bogota (Colombia) and Jakarta (Indonesia)
• Suva (Fiji) and Timbuktu (Mali)
• Melbourne and Canberra (Australia) and Azores (Portugal)
• Manila (Philippines) and Cuiaba (Brazil)
• Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Cuenca (Ecuador)
• Singapore and Quito (Ecuador)
• Doha (Qatar) and Pitcairn Island (United Kingdom - Overseas Territory)