Land and Water Hemispheres, 1891
From University of South Florida
Description: A double hemisphere map of the world from 1891 showing the earth’s Land Hemisphere and Water Hemisphere.
“The accumulation of the land in the north and its separation in the south lead to a curious result — nearly all the land is collected in one hemisphere. If one point of a pair of compasses be placed at the north pole of a globe, and the other stretched out to reach to any point on the equator, they will describe on the surface of the globe a great circle, and consequently will divide the globe into hemispheres. If, while they are stretched this distance apart, one of these points be placed at about the city of London, a circle swept with the other point will divide the earth into land and water hemispheres. Such a great circle would pass through the Malay Peninsula and the coast of Peru. The Land Hemisphere contains all of North America, Europe, Africa, and the greater part of South America and Asia. The Water Hemisphere contains the southern portions of South America, the Malay Peninsula, and Australia.” — Houston, 1891, p. 38.
The Water Hemisphere, is the hemisphere on the Earth containing the largest area of water. It is centered on, near New Zealand’s Bounty Islands. The other half of the earth is the land hemisphere.
The water hemisphere has only one-eighth of the world’s land, including Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica, a small part of Southeast Asia and the southern part of South America. Most of the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean are on the water hemisphere. Proportionately, the water hemisphere is approximately 89% water, 6% dry land and 5% polar icecap.
The area of the oceans of the water hemisphere is much larger than its land area, but the area of the oceans of the land hemisphere is still larger than its land area.