"“Every kid in the world wants to dig a great big hole,” said X-Ray. “To China, right"

This is a common joke and a trope often used in cartoons: if a person digs a hole, straight down and deep enough so that they go through the centre of the earth, they will emerge on the other side of the world. In the USA, the country on the other side is usually shown to be China, perhaps because the country is perceived to be a cultural opposite by Americans, and so is seen as an exciting and unmistakably foreign place for the digger to end up. UK variants of the trope tend to see British diggers arriving in Australia.


Can you really dig a hole to China? This article explores the reasons that digging through the centre of the Earth are impossible, and what would happen if they weren’t.


But if you could dig a hole through the centre of the Earth from the United States, where would you pop up?