In Brief

What is an Earth sandwich?

Two men create planet-sized snack by placing slices of bread on exact opposite sides of the planet

A New Zealand student has enlisted the help of a stranger in Spain to create a sandwich with a difference - with the Earth as the “filling”. 

Etienne Naude placed a slice of white bread on the ground at Bucklands Beach in Auckland after using longitude and latitude calculations to ensure he was “precisely opposite a volunteer he had found in the south of Spain”, The Guardian reports.

The 19-year-old, who studies computer science at Auckland University, told the BBC that he had wanted to make an Earth sandwich for “years” but had struggled to find someone on the other side of the globe to help. He finally tracked down a volunteer in the form of Angel Sierra, a 34-year-old chef, who responded to a message posted by Naude on Reddit.  

As the broadcaster notes, the two men are by no means the first to attempt such a feat. The first Earth sandwich is credited to US artist Ze Frank, who “organised two slices of baguette to be placed in New Zealand and Spain in 2006″.

“Others have since followed - although not all reported examples have been bona fide, opposite-point Earth sandwiches,” the BBC adds.

Speaking to Radio New Zealand (RNZ) this week, Naude said: “It’s amazing that we’ve actually been able to collaborate and do something like this at exact opposite points of the globe.

“We made sure to get the exact location with Google Maps, to get us within a few metres range, and then we used the actual image data on Google Maps to pinpoint ourselves even closer than that.”

The Independent reports that a photo of the feat shows “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”.

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

“It was quite hard to organise since it’s 12-hour time difference,” Naude said. “And there’s lots of things to arrange, such as the kind of bread, the time, the location.”

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