Earth as sandwich

Ze Frank is a web performance artist who first came to prominence back at the dawn of web time with his “how to dance properly” page. Among his many creations is something called the Earth sandwich. The idea is to imagine two people standing on opposite sides of the Earth. At the same instant, they each put a piece of bread on the ground: Earth sandwich.

This is one of my favorite Google Maps mashups. Since you can click and drag the points around so easily, you learn a lot about hemispheric geography that is hard to work out with a typical map. For instance, most of the Earth’s land is above the equator. It’s actually pretty hard to find two interesting places that make a good sandwich. Argentina and China are good antipodal friends, and Spain pairs neatly with New Zealand, but mostly it’s lots and lots of water. Australia drops straight into the Atlantic Ocean, and Africa is lost in mid-Pacific.

Not only is most of the Earth’s land in the north, most of the southern hemisphere’s land is in the northern part of that hemisphere. The Cape of Good Hope, at the very tip end of Africa, looks like it goes a long way south, but in relative terms it only dips as far below the Equator as Las Vegas is above it. All of Europe is above that latitude. Only Cape Horn, poking its godforsaken toe into the circumpolar storm belt around Antarctica, pushes into what we would normally consider high northern latitudes. At 56 degrees south, it matches up with Edinburgh and the dangling tails of Alaska.

7 thoughts on “Earth as sandwich”

  1. Bermuda is maddeningly close to being opposite Perth! Whatever I do my intended Commonwealth sandwich gets soggy. How much effort would be involved in moving or extending Bermuda about 20 miles East? Maybe the UAE could figure something out.

  2. Lordy, a link to in my comments-for-review queue!

    I had to verify your IP address to make sure that one wasn’t spam. I thought sure you were a spammer peddling some crazy Burrow-Through-The-Earth-To-Cape-Horn concoction.

  3. To the tune of The Wiggles’ “Fruit Salad”:

    Yummy yummy, yummy yummy, yummy Earth sandwich!

    Earth sandwich,
    yummy yummy.
    Earth sandwich,
    yummy yummy.

    I am hoping to shed this virus by passing it on. It’s been ringing in my head for the past 24 hours.

  4. Ned, you know we haven’t got an elephant…

    Seriously though, for this Earth Sandwich thing to work, would the two pieces of bread have to be adjacent slices from the same loaf for it to be a proper sandwich? I’m thinking you’d have to Express ship a slice of bread to the other side of the world for this to work. Now that’s a worthy challenge!

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