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Mutad del Mundo's insider take:

Just 14 miles north of Quito is the equatorial dividing line that gave Ecuador its name. As the story goes, three French astronomers first marked the line during the Geodesic Mission of 1736, naming the area the Mutad del Mundo or "middle of the world." Even though their measurements were slightly off, they established what would become the metric system and unwittingly created what has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ecuador. The novelty of standing on the equator draws diverse crowds to the rather tacky collection of monuments and pseudo museums in the area, like the Museo del Quito en Miniatura (yes, a miniature model of colonial Quito). The most amusing of the tourist attractions is the Museo Solar Inti Nan, where you can pour water down a hole on one side of the line and it goes a different direction on the other side or balance an egg on the head of a nail right on the equatorial line.—Cathay Che

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