Two men make earth ‘sandwich’ at opposite ends of the globe

Kate Ng
Etienne Naude, left, poses with his side of the Earth sandwich, while his Spanish counterpart poses on the other side of the world: Etienne Naude

Two men have coordinated to make an “Earth sandwich” by placing a slice of bread on exact opposite points of the planet, at the same time.

The idea was dreamed up by New Zealand computer science student, Etienne Naude, who pulled it off with the help of a stranger located in the small Spanish town of Olvera, southeast of Seville.

Mr Naude explained his method in a post on Reddit: “For all those wondering how I did this, I posted in r/Spain if anyone lived around that point that was keen to do this, to calculate it we used [a map tunnelling tool].”

The map tunnelling tool, called “Tunnel to the other side of the Earth”, calculated the longitude and latitude needed for Mr Naude to find the precise opposite point from his location in Auckland.

He asked for help in the Spanish corner of the forum website in December and received several responses, eventually connecting with one person close to the exact location he needed them to be.

A photo of the feat showed Mr Naude posing next to his slice of bread with a small New Zealand flag poked into the ground in one panel, and in the other, his Spanish counterpart’s selfie with nine slices of bread covering the location.

He told the BBC it was “tricky” finding a spot in New Zealand that wasn’t in the middle of water or “where public roads or paths intersect in both sides”.

He added the 12-hour time difference made it difficult to coordinate and his Spanish partner, who was not named, had to travel 11km to reach his designated location.

Prior to the stunt, Mr Naude went the extra mile of creating a laser cut image of his dream Earth sandwich, burned onto 20 slices of bread.

“I somehow made it geekier,” he said in a comment.

A laser cut image of an Earth sandwich burned into 20 slices of bread (Etienne Naude)

He used one of the slices to mark his component of the Earth sandwich.

When asked if he would consider creating an earth burrito, Mr Naude replied with a burrito recipe that would require over 135 quadrillion kilograms of flour to make tortillas large enough to cover the earth’s surface.

Earth "sandwiches" have been attempted before. In February 2019, two British YouTubers made headlines after they spent over £14,000 to create their own.

Jay Swingler and Romell Henry placed one slice of bread in a garden in London and then bought flights to Australia to place the other slice outside the Sydney Opera House.

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