The term antipodes refers both to an upside-down world at the other side of the planet and to its inhabitants, who supposedly live head down and feet up. The term, derived from the Greek anti (“against” or “opposed”) and podus (“foot”), appeared for the first time in Plato (ca. 427–347 BC), who used it to indicate a place diametrically opposite the city-state of Athens on the surface of the globe. Since then, the term became a crucial corollary of the theory of zones, the milestone of geographic speculation for almost 2,000 years. According to this theory, there are two temperate zones suited to human life, respectively in the boreal and in the austral hemisphere. The latter zone, called antichtone or antipodes, is unknowable because of ...

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