The Equator!

I’ve been very aware of my closing in on the magical line on the ground for the last couple of weeks and I’m pretty excited when I pull into ‘Mitad del Mundo’ (The middle of the Earth) just North of Quito.

It’s a very touristy place and there are half a dozen museums, a planetarium and who knows what else buried in all the restaurants and souvenir shops. I wander around looking at all the different displays and reading all the information boards. There is tons of really interesting trivia about the exact spot I am standing on and how it relates to the Earth as a whole and the Solar System.

dan at the equator 360x480

Pretty happy to be on the magical line

I really want to get the Jeep up on the line, but the security guards have other ideas. Maybe if I cross it again over near the Pacific I’ll get another chance.

jeep and dan equator 640x480

As close as I could get the Jeep

I can’t wait to see The Southern Cross in the night sky, a star constellation that reminds me so much of home.
I have not seen it in almost four years.


17 Responses

  1. David says:

    That’s pretty cool pic with you standing on the line – could you feel the temp increase as you got closer to the equator :-)

    • Dan says:

      You mean from being closer to the sun? haha.
      I also didn’t feel any strange spinning effects nor did my stomach churn the other direction :)

  2. Pete 'n' Al says:

    Hey Dan,
    Good to see you back in the Southern Hemisphere and civilization! It is hard to comprehend that you are on the equator yet it can still be quite cool up in the mountains.
    Best Regards Pete ‘n’ Al

    • Dan says:

      I read this is the only place in the world where the equator crosses any significant elevation. It actually hits 4600 meters on a nearby peak.

  3. Rejeana in Alabama says:

    Fantastic! Maybe I should say DANTASTIC!!!

  4. Ron Parker says:

    Well Dan,The Southern Cross is still there,Look at it most nights,wondering what the North Star looks like,Is it true that the water down the plug[drain] goes anticlock wise in the southern hemisphere,the reverse in the northern hemisphere and straight down on the equator?I thought you would be a good man to ask.Test it out for me.

    • Dan says:

      It most certainly does spin the opposite direction in the northern vs. southern, but the whole bit about it doing something strange on the equator is a myth. The friction in a small container and the extreme closeness of the equator negate what the “tourist guys” say is actually happening. As usual, Wikipedia has all the info (a little technical)

  5. Jim K in PA says:

    A great symbolic milestone Dan. Keep on truckin’!

  6. Ted says:

    Way to go Dan, hope the Southern Cross looks over you for the rest of your adventure. OBTW, your “Where is Dan” map needs attention to include South America. Thanks for the website.

  7. Avery says:

    Thats a cool place. Its funny, apparently the French built that monument years ago but they got it wrong. Its a couple miles from where the actual equator is; oops.

    The cool thing is that very near there is an old “Pre-Incan” monument which is now of course a ruin, that marks the equator within 60 feet. It really amazing if you think about it. How in the heck did people living 2000 years ago accurately mark the equator?

    Here is a link to my page regarding this stuff:

    • Dan says:

      Yeah, the monument I went to is in the “wrong” place. I was told a GPS puts the actual equator about 250 meters away.
      The number of things ancient civilizations were able to do never ceases to amaze me.. and strangely so many of them related to the stars, solar system and earth. Hmmm.

  8. O'Shea 12566 says:

    I love the non-descript rock holding the non descript sign….like they just put it up that morning. Awesome.

    Once again, thanks for the Jeep pics!

    • Dan says:

      Yep, that’s how most things around here look – really temporary. I’m sure millions of people have taken a photo of that sign and it hasn’t occurred to anyone to make it look a little nicer :)

      • O'Shea 12566 says:

        That is what is kinda cool about it. So many people see that sign everyday and it is in countless pictures. Yet, no one has made it a little nicer. Love it…hope it stays that way.

  9. Azz says:

    That’s cool! 😀

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