“La Mitad del Mundo” or “The Middle of the World”, as it’s called, is a small town north of Quito, the capital of Ecuador in South America.  Well, it used to be a small town about an hour north of Quito, back in the days when I lived in Ecuador. That’s many, many moons ago.  Today, “la Mitad del Mundo” has merged with Quito, which has become a gigantic, long stripe blend of pretty and not-so-pretty dwellings, tall, modern buildings, and age-old sumptuous colonial churches and architecture.  Quito can’t spread wider, only longer because the Andes mountains impose quite majestically on both, the eastern and western borders. Thus, the city is only about 4 kilometers (3 miles) wide, but a towering 54 kilometers (40 miles) long!

The Equatorial Line

The park is a pretty area with lots of colorful artisan stores, full of local handcrafts, and restaurants featuring the local cuisine. We strolled around taking in the gaiety of the place, the warm sunshine, the overall cheerfulness of all tourists, and the good company of my father.  Although I grew up in Ecuador and I had seen this place many times before, I, too, felt somewhat like a tourist. The area has been transformed over the years. It is a much more enjoyable destination than I had remembered!

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Standing Over Both of Earth’s Hemispheres

People enthusiastically take turns photographing themselves in two typical poses: Shaking hands while standing on opposite hemispheres, and putting one leg on the northern and the other leg on the southern halves of the Earth.
equatorial line

 

standing on both hemispheres at the same time

 

 

Latitude Zero

The equatorial line divides the Earth in exactly two halves. This means from this point there are 90 degrees to the North Pole, and 90 degrees to the South Pole. The equatorial line is therefore Latitude Zero.

latitude zero equator

 

Stay tuned for my free printable mini unit on Latitude and Longitude ~ coming soon!

 

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Standing on Top of Both Hemispheres

From the top of “La Mitad del Mundo”‘s monument, we could enjoy the pretty view of our surroundings, and could really appreciate the North and South sides of the park.

 

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The Southern Hemisphere

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The Northern Hemisphere

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Equatorial Line Trivia

The Balancing Egg

An egg can be balanced over a nail sitting exactly at the equatorial line.  That makes for a very special egg that’s been on both halves of the world at the same time!

egg balancing on the equator

image credit: www.mitaddelmundo.com

 

Season Indicator

Just watching the shadow cast by the globe on top of the monument, you can tell the season for each hemisphere.

the world's in his hands!

Roberto happily holding the world in his hands 🙂

 

Feeling a Little Lighter

Did you know that the body weight decreases at the equator? The amount you weight is less here than in any other latitude in the world.  This according to Newton’s Law. Cool!

equatorial line field trip

 

Stay tuned for my free printable mini unit on Latitude and Longitude ~ coming soon!

 

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