When it comes to sandwiches there have been some amazing inventions. The Cuban sandwich with its roasted pork, pickles, and yellow mustard is a particular favorite of mine but I can also respect the appeal of a Croque Monsieur from France or a Banh Mi from Vietnam, but a vegemite sandwich from Australia is where I would draw the line. However, recently, two men may have arguably created the greatest sandwich of them all. A sandwich that has every other sandwich accounted for, a sandwich that, actually, has everything accounted for. It is, of course, the Earth sandwich.
When Etienne Naude set out to create an Earth sandwich he probably didn’t realize how viral his nerdy idea would go. Etienne, who lived in Auckland New Zealand and was perhaps feeling at the bottom of the world that day decided to find out where the exact opposite side of the world was. He went to a website called Free Map Tools and found that somewhere in Spain was the exact opposite side of the world. That is, that if he tunneled from where he was in Auckland through the center of the Earth, he would come out in Spain on the other side.
With the type of mind that very few have this led him to one thought, make a sandwich. Instead of going to the kitchen, he went to the Spain page on Reddit and asked if anyone was living near Sevilla in Spain and wanted to take part in his project. He found someone willing and together they took to the agreed-upon coordinates that were exactly opposite each other. They both placed down a piece of bread (that was the same type for both) faced it in the same direction, and took a picture at the exact same time. At this moment they created a sandwich that captured the entire world.
If that wasn’t geeky enough, to make things even odder, to celebrate Etienne than went to a laser printer and printed the image of the Earth between two slices of bread, on 12 slices of bread. The picture of the Spain-New Zealand Earth sandwich has since gone viral as people are both amazed by the achievement and by the idea itself.
While the sandwich is, we admit, absolutely ridiculous. It is an incredible example of the power of the internet today. Some will try to point out how the internet has now created a space for odd and pointless activities. While we agree that this sandwich is a little bit pointless, so are many of man’s greatest feats. When one man tried to drive from San Franciso to New York after the invention of the automobile no one pointed out how pointless it was. When people tried to sail around the world, did anyone say “don’t bother”? No. We tend to admire amazing feats even if they don’t actually change the world. The same could be said about this sandwich. Etienne Naude has achieved something truly remarkable but it won’t change the world overnight.
What the achievement does though, is show how far we have come as a population. We now communicate with the other side of the world and make plans together. Consider how difficult it would have been to arrange such a task 100 or even 20 years ago and you start to realize the incredible power the internet has. If the internet can create a space for the collaboration of two men to create the world’s largest sandwich, who knows what else we will achieve in years to come. The internet has already led to so many innovations for human society and while the Earth sandwich will likely not go down in the history books, it is a nerdy example of how powerful we are when we work together.