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Can You Dig a Hole to China from the US?

Contrary to popular belief, if you are in the United States, you cannot dig a hole through the center of the Earth and end up in China. In fact, with the exception of three small areas in the 48 contiguous states, you would end up in the middle of the ocean. The three exceptions are Carville, Colorado, near U.S. Route 109, which is directly opposite to a small island near Antarctica; La Junta, Colorado, which lies opposite to Île Amsterdam; and part of Shelby, Montana, which is opposite to the Kerguelen Islands, also known as the Desolation Islands because of their extreme remoteness. Hawaii and Alaska also have land at their opposite points: if you were to dig through the center of the Earth from Hawaii, you'd end up in Botswana or Namibia; if you dug through in Alaska, you'd end up in Antarctica.

More facts about digging through the Earth:

  • Areas that are complete opposites on the Earth are called antipodes. Land-based antipodes are fairly rare because about 70 percent of the Earth is covered in water.

  • Canton, Illinois, reportedly got its name because the founder of the town thought the city was directly across from Canton, China, which is now called Guangzhou.

  • If you really wanted to dig a hole through the center of the Earth to China, you'd have to be in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia or the Falkland Islands.

  • Even if it were possible to dig through the Earth, humans could never survive the journey through. The Earth's core is about 9,800 degrees Fahrenheit (about 5,430 degrees Celsius) and has enormously high pressure.

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Discuss this Article

anon940612
Post 4

What would be the perfect conditions to dig through a planet and reach the other side?

anon292183
Post 1

Can you build an underground highway from the US to Jamaica?

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