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The Middle of the World?

By Guest
Posts: 4

Posted on: March 31, 2010 at 1:33PM

There seems to be a constant debate on where the actual equator in Ecuador is located, the two popular tourist sites to date are: La Mitdad del Mundo (the middle of the world) and Inti-Nan (road of the sun). La Mitad del Mundo is the official Middle of the World site straddling both the northern and southern hemispheres but is actually 250 meters away from the Equator! The monument to the equator sited here, is now little more than a show of appreciation to Charles Marie de La Condamine, who attempted to locate the Equator in the early 1700’s. You can take some good photos, and the view from the top of the monument is also quite impressive. However… A few minutes away lies the real equator as measured by the Global Positioning System, or so they say at the open-air Inti-Nan Museum. Here you can experience a number of equatorial related experiments all of which amazingly seem to work. Such experiments include the well known water down the plug hole, strength tests, balancing an egg on the end of a nail and trying to walk down the equator with eyes closed. It is surprising to see the differences in carrying out these experiments on the equator and just one metre either side. There is also a 19th century solar chronometer, showing the ‘real’ time! Our watches show 24 hour time, yet this is not the true length of a day on Earth hence the reason for leap years. Furthermore you can take a tour through a small selection of Ecuadorian history and heritage where traditional burial sights and houses can be seen. The ancient tribes had the tradition that when the man died, his wife / women and servants went too – but they were buried ALIVE with him. Thankfully this is not tradition in Ecuador today, or there would be a lot of single women. You can also witness the process of shrinking heads. Some jungle tribes in Ecuador still practice this tradition today yet thankfully to Ecuadorian law they can only perform such an act on the head of a sloth and not that of a human. Did you know? Quitus Caras location of the equator The ancient Quitus Caras actually calculated and named Quito the middle of the earth long before the technologies of today.Quito actually means Qui – centre and to – land/world. The Quitus Caras also had a slightly different idea of where the equator was positioned, they believed it was on this sacred hill! In a nutshell: Go to La Mitad del Mundo for the photos; go to Inti-Nan for the fun and experiments. report a problem

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