Science at the Center of the World

One of the things that we really enjoyed during our visit to Quito, Ecuador, was going to the true equator and participating in several experiments. The first experiment was to close your eyes and walk along the equator line. Oddly enough, everyone found it hard to keep their balance and walk a straight line. We were told that it was because of the conflicting pulls from the northern and southern hemispheres causing you to want to lean one direction or the other. Next we watched as water was poured into a sink in each of the hemispheres and, although there are ways to make it swirl the way that you want, when nature is left to its own design it swirls in different directions. The same is true of hurricanes and typhoons where in the northern hemisphere things spin counterclockwise while in the southern hemisphere they spin clockwise. Water going down a drain does the same thing, counterclockwise north of the equator and clockwise south of the equator. Next was an experiment that we’re not completely sure if it works or why it works, but our guide had us push up on his hands while we weren’t on the equator and we were able to force his hands upward. Then we moved to the equator line and he used a single finger and was able to keep us from pushing his hand upward. The final experiment was to balance a raw egg on a nail on the equator line, which isn’t easy, but a few people were able to succeed. Definitely not something that you can do at home, unless you happen to live on the equator. All of them were very interesting, so for this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge of Experimental, here are some pictures of the experiments at the equator.

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Balancing Egg
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Going Down the Drain
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No Experiment, Just Us at the Equator 🙂
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Setting Up the Egg

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