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The Antipode of Southeast Asian Capital Cities

The Antipode of Southeast Asian Capital Cities

In Geography, the antipode of a place is the point found on the surface of the earth which is diametrically opposite to it. A pair of antipodes are two points that are opposite to one another on the surface of the earth and are connected by a straight line that runs through the Earth's center. The antipodal points can be as far away from one another as possible with a long circle distance of about 20,000 kilometers.

The idea of the existence of antipodes dates back to the times of Pomponius Mela, who was a Roman Geographer and the first of his kind. Mela believed that the Earth comprised of two habitable zones namely the South and the North, but they could not contact each other due to the unbearable heat in the equator. However, the term antipodes were introduced during the Early Middle Ages due to Saint Isidore's widely construed encyclopedia. Ongoing discussions about people and places located opposite each other helped bring into understanding the shape of the Earth. Through discussions and medieval disputes on how the Earth is shaped the result was an idea that the Earth is of spherical shape. There are many historical discoveries that were made due to the discovery of antipodes such as opposite antipodal point’s experiences opposite seasons among others.

World Map of Pomponius Mela, rotated for north up and be comparable with modern maps |   Mappae Mundi Bd. Vi.
World Map of Pomponius Mela, rotated for north up and be comparable with modern maps | Mappae Mundi Bd. Vi. "Rekonstruierte Karten", Tafel 7.

Australia and New Zealand may be referred to as antipodes with its inhabitants being known as antipodeans. In Ireland and Britain, the antipodes are geographically located in the Pacific Ocean in the southern part of New Zealand. The antipodes gave rise to the term Antipodes Island of New Zealand which are the approximate antipode of London. The Antipodes of Australia are located in the North Atlantic Ocean whereas some regions in Morocco, Portugal, and Spain are antipodal to New Zealand.

About 15% of the territorial land is antipodal to another land with an approximate representation of about 4.4% of the Earth's surface. The Malay Archipelago is the largest antipodal land masses. The two largest antipodal areas inhabited by humankind are located in East Asia and South America mainly situated in the eastern regions of China and the northern parts of Argentina and Chile respectively. The Borneo Island is largest mass of land with antipodes entirely located on land situated in the Amazon rain forest whereas the mainland in Australia is the largest landmass whose antipodes are found entirely in water.

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