Finding the Equator

The Equator, in Ecuador

Do you know where the 0º 0′ 0? point of latitude is located? Well, to discover this, you only have to look for a flight to Quito and visit the city of the ‘Mitad del Mundo’ (The Middle of the World City).

You can find this point at 13 kilometres from the capital of Ecuador, which is ideal for visiting the equinox, either in March or in September because the first thing that will attract your attention is that there is no shade. As soon as you arrive, you’ll come up against an enormous ball that’s held on top of a 30-metre tall pyramid that marks the 4 cardinal points. Inside this monument, you’ll find the ‘Museo Etnográfico’ (Ethnographic Museum) which is made up of an exhibition, explaining the different customs and traditions of Ecuador. If you go up to the viewpoint, you will see the whole complex that comprises the ‘Mitad del Mundo’ (Middle of the World).

This monument was built to mark the point where it was thought that the equator passed through here. However, it was verified that the exact place lies some metres away from the original one in and precisely in the Museo de Sitio Intiñam (Intiñan Solar Museum). This is an interactive centre where you can learn all about the curiosities that the phenomenon of the equator produces, such as the Coriolis effect. They’ll also explain archaeoastronomical and ethnographic investigations of the equinoctial zone. But surely the main attraction will be to jump from one side of the planet to the other for ten minutes, as a kind of “now I’m in the Northern Hemisphere, now I’m in the south”. Check it out!

Photo | Duchbaby