Looking up at the Equator Obelisk in Calacalí, a short drive from Quito, Ecuador, it’s very confusing as a relatively short distance down the road is a huge complex which touts itself as the ‘Mitad del Mundo’. So if this is the REAL centre of the earth, why aren’t there more tourists? Well, as you can read here on the ‘Real Equator Line‘ hoax, there a number of places in Ecuador that make this claim!
Ecuador and the Equator
In the 18th c there was a big debate as to whether the whether the circumference of the Earth was greater around the Equator or around the poles. A number of French expeditions were organised to find out; one went to Lapland and and in 1735 the other went to Ecuador, then called the ‘The Territory of Quito’ by Spain. Bouguer, La Condamine, Godin and their colleagues measured arcs of the Earth’s curvature on the Equator from the plains near Quito to the southern city of Cuenca. These measurements enabled the first accurate determination of the size of the Earth, eventually leading to the establishment of the international metric system of measurement. ‘Wikipedia. Ecuador was then renamed so its name is forever synonymous with ‘the Equator’.
As you can see from this map there are a number of markers – read more about the Equator Monuments here.
Well, we only visited this one and it makes for a fun photo. At some point in the vicinity we definitely did cross the Equator a number of times on our way to Mashpi Cloud Forest!
I travelled to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands with Metropolitan Touring. Read about Mashpi Eco Lodge here and the amazing equatorial birds including the beautiful hummingbirds that live in the beautiful Ecuadorian Cloud Forest.