The Equator line is about 40,075km and it’s an imaginary line that goes from the North Pole to the South Pole dividing the Earth into Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere. The latitude in equator is 0°. In the Equator sunrise and sunset times are almost constant throughout the year and there is little distinction between seasons with basically two seasons the ‘wet season’ and the ‘dry season’. The average temperature is around 30°C during the day and 23°C at night.
I really wanted to visit Ecuador because of the equator line and in there they take great pride in their special location. Quito the capital is just in the middle of this imaginary line.
So, when in Quito a visit to the equator line is one of the things to do! I got a taxi/tour guide which is a must in Ecuador and went on an adventure to the middle of the Earth! The equator line is located in Ciudad Mitad del Mundo – Middle of the World City, in San Antonio, 26 km from Quito. In there I visited the Monument of the Equator, which was built to commemorate the exact location of the Equator or so they say…
So, is this not the real Equator line in Ecuador?
The location of the equatorial line in Ecuador was decided in 1736 by the French Geodesic Mission that carried out measurements to prove the coordinates. This expedition did prove that the world was oblate and not elongated at the poles, but unfortunately the measurements of where the line was marked were proven to be wrong by 240 meters north using modern GPS systems.
Still, the Ecuadorean Government built in 1935 a monument to honour this expedition that was then replaced in 1972 by the monument called Middle of the World City even knowing that it was not the place of the exact coordinates, misleading a lot of people, just like me! I only learned about this once there thanks to our taxi driver/tour guide.
Just a few minutes driving to the left, a local attraction called Intiñan Solar Museum with an entrance fee of 4$, is where (they say) lies the truth location of the Equator line. As soon as we entered, there was a big sign with the coordinates and the mention that they were measured with GPS to prove the 0° latitude in that location.
I was very amused by what I have seen in there, things that according to them can only happen in latitude 0° like the water flowing both counter-clockwise and clockwise down a drain representing the Coriolis effect. Another activity that I had lots of fun was the ‘egg master’ which consisted in balancing an egg on top of a nail and surprise, surprise, that was incredible easy to do!
All of these in the Equator line, or so I thought!
So it looks like I was very close but GPS tests have mixed results and accurate readings are very hard to obtain. Later on the day we learned from other travelers that this location is not exactly the location of the latitude 0°, so I got mixing feelings!