Yeah, there’s a line drawn on the floor for people to do their pictures.
And yes, of course we did them too ;-D
Interestingly there’s more to it.
There are some experiments you can do, that might leave you stunned.
They definitely will leave you thinking and discussing.
Mitad del Mundo
Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World) is a famous monument in Ecuador, close to Quito. It was built to highlight the exact location of the Equator, the very place that was determined in 1736 by the French Charles Marie de la Condamine.
La Condamine chose Ecuador for his calculations as it is the only country where the Equator runs through fixed landmarks like the Andes. In every other country the Equator runs through water or constantly changing rain forest areas. But fixed landmarks were necessary to observe the orbits of the stars and therefore determine the position of the Equator. Keeping this in mind the determination of the Equator was pretty accurate and a great achievement.
In times of GPS we now know, that the Equator lies 240 meters north of the place that La Condamine determined.
The monument itself is impressive and it’s a nice walk. But that’s more or less it.
The Intiñan Museum
We liked the Museum Intiñan, featuring the GPS equator line, a lot more.They do some experiments on the Equator line - some of them are debunked as nonsense in the internet. But nevertheless they are fun and they get you thinking and discussing.
The Coriolis effect
They showed us a sink with water and pulled the plug. Then they put in some leaves to show the water rotation. If the basin is on the north side of the Equator line, the water rotates in a different direction than on the south side. Directly on the Equator line, the water doesn’t rotate at all.
They told us that the Coriolis effect is the reason for this. We were a bit skeptical to be honest. Looking it up in the internet later we found several sources that state that the Coriolis force would not be strong enough to show this effect. Maybe it was a trick.
The second experiment was worse.
They made us try to walk the Equator line with closed eyes.
Dear Lord :-D It’s simply impossible. I never staggered that heavily in my whole life, especially not when completely sober!
Markus laughed and laughed - until he tried himself. It’s not the right place for an alcohol test, I guess…
Now you can assume that Markus and me were really trashed already at 11am or that the sun was doing us no good.
Just one thing: Try yourself.
Your muscles turn to jello
The third experiment left us stunned. I am not a physicist, I cannot explain it. Maybe you can, let me know! Markus stood 2 meters away from the Equator line, holding up his arms in front of him. I should try to lower his arms where he was trying to resist. It took me some force and both hands, he’s a strong man.
Then we did the same on the Equator line. I didn’t need more than one hand and not much force to lower his arms and the look on his face was priceless. I don’t know what happened.
Same here: If you don’t believe it, try yourself.
And take a picture of your face please, I wasn’t fast enough to capture Markus’ face ;-D