Ecuador is one of the countries crossed by the equator, from which it derives its name, since here, the equinoctial line is at the highest altitude then the rest of the world.
To celebrate this particularity in the 1700s a French expedition tried to determine with precision the position of the parallel 0, but they missed it for some hundred meters. The “mitad del mundo” monument and its citadel are located in the southern hemisphere, about thirty kilometers from the center of Quito.
Little less famous and visible it is the Intiñan museum where the true equatorial line passes.
With a 4 dollars ticket you get a guided tour that tells a bit about the ethnic groups of the country. There are the Shuari, famous for tzanza, the process of heads reduction to a fist dimension, the Waorani who hunt with blowpipes paralyzing their prey and the Quitucara who gave the name to Quito. In their language in fact Qui means half and Tu means earth.
But the most interesting part is the red line that marks the equator path. There are two-sided sun watches that indicate the time (with extreme precision), a compass that indicates the seasons. All around totems that come from the various countries (actually all South America) where the Sun was worshiped.
In Ecuador there are only two seasons, summer and winter when the sun is a little at south or a little at north of the equinoctial line, so thanks to the shadow you can understand what season you are in. Thanks to its central location there are no long or short days, here all year long there are 12 hours of darkness and 12 hours of light, divided, according to the Quicha, into Tuta Manta (morning, from 6 to 12), Pajta (midday) and Chisi (evening, from 12 to 18).
But here we also perform simple experiments to confirm that we are in the middle of the world. The sink test, in which the water drains without rotating above the red line, while it creates clockwise or counterclockwise vortices depending on the hemisphere, to confirm what Coriolis says. We don’t want to spoil everithing but on the equator you can do a lot of experiments and games, so, come and try them all.
Among the curiosities, during the 2 equinoxes (March 21 and September 23) for 2-3 minutes at midday the sun is perpendicular to the earth and the shadow disappears completely.
To conclude, it seems that on some mountains near Quito archaeological finds of pre-Columbian populations that, unlike the French geologists, found the true position of the line dividing the two hemispheres. Chapeau.

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