As a novelty, I had considered straddling the equator, you know, being North and South all at once before I visited Quito, Ecuador but I had no idea what a treat it would be to visit latitude 00.00.00…
Incidentally, there is another place called “Mitad del Mundo” down the road a ways. It’s like the Disney of equators and visited by loads of people but is not the actual site of the line. The actual location was determined with GPS. Sorry antiquated methods of determining geolocation, RIP.
OK, bad pose. I think I meant to have one foot in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern hemispshere.
Our tour was great. It started with a bit of history about the local, pre-Inca indigenous people but soon turned sciencey. Our guide asked us if we knew what the coreolis effect was.
Of course, I was like, “yeah”, and no-one else spoke.
She said, “ok, please explain it to us.”
After an embarrassingly poor attempt at explaining it, Gaby, the guide, cut me of short and asked if we wanted to see it in action. This tub lies exactly on the equator and when the plug is pulled there is no circular draining as we are accustomed to. Oooooo. Moving it to either side the coreolis effect is in full force, meaning the water swirls one way north of the equator and opposite that south of the equator. It’s really very interesting to stand there and see this even though sitting in your chair reading this it seems silly.
Now we are asked to step onto the equator, reach our arms out to the side, close our eyes, and walk on the line touching heal to toe as we go. Everyone meanders off the line. Why? She explains that with our eyes closed we are using only our inner ears for balance. On the equator the magnetism is much different than we are used to so balance is difficult (sorry no pic but imagine me stumbling around with my eyes closed in broad daylight).
And the science keeps rolling. It’s time to balance an egg on end on top of a nail. Challenging as it is I am determined to get my “Egg-balancer” certificate (yes, it exists). After hogging my station for nearly the entire time I had to give up.
Our guide, Gaby, is a total show off with the egg standing upping. She’s so sciencey.
At the end of the tour you will have the option get a stamp noting 00.00.00 degrees latitude. Very nerdy but don’t forget your passport if you are a nerd.
So plan on a trip to the Middle of the World when traveling to Quito, Ecuador.