Balancing an Egg
I have crossed the Equator a few times and each time there has been some novelty that we have been shown.
On our way to the Cloud Forest in Ecuador we stopped at the official Mitad del Mundo or middle of the world site. There is a lot more at this site but it is not actually on the Equator so in order to do the Equator tricks you have to walk some hundred yards away from this site.
On our way to Otavalo on our day trip, our guide pulled over at a small village with a few shops at the side of the road and told us this was the Equator line. We hadn't realised we would be crossing it again so this was a nice bonus. Compared to the Mitad del Mundo this was a very low key affair.
There was a sign saying it was the Equator and a rather grubby looking globe with a line showing the Equator and our guide proudly showed us how the Equator passed through Ecuador more than any other country.
Charles Marie de la Condamine, a French mathematician, physicist, explorer, and geographer was sent to Ecuador in 1735 to measure the Earth at the equator. This stop is one of the places where the equator passes through Ecuador and where Charles-Marie de La Condamine made his measurements to prove that this was indeed where the equator is.
This is a much more low key place that the official Mitad del Mundo and it is very basic, rather run down, looking like nothing much is done to upkeep it.
Our guide went into a shop and came back with an egg. We were not quite sure what he was going to do with it but he headed for a stone plinth with a line on it. After a few seconds he balanced the egg up on its end. This is something that he told us can only be done on the Equator. We all had a go and it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I was all for giving up when finally it did balance for me. I have tried it at home and have not been able to do it so maybe her is correct.
We have seen the water going down the plughole trick before. Having lived in Australia I do know it goes the other way but whether or not it is a trick when done actually either side of the Equator I don't know. You do have to walk some way each side so maybe it is true.
Another interesting fact that may be handy for slimmers who live near the Equator is that you weigh less at the equator. The reason being that there is a greater centrifugal force at the Equator than at the poles; sadly the difference is only 0.03% but it is still less!
Many say the water running down the plug hole and the balancing egg are just tricks but we did the egg one and it may not be scientific but it was fun.
Did you know that while you are standing at the Equator you are actually moving at 1,000 miles per hour eastward but sadly I couldn't feel this speed! The Equator passes through fourteen counties and is 24,901.5 miles long. It reaches its highest point in Ecuador so it is here that this line is closest to the sun.
If you are on a trip from Quito to Otavalo then it is probable that you will stop here. If they don't do the egg trick ask them about it. The shop nearby sells eggs so you can buy one there. It is fun and interesting so worth the ten minute stop to check it out and once again stand with a leg each side of the Equator line for a photo.