The middle of the world! Quito, Ecuador – Sept. 10, 2011

This is the equator line determined by 18th-century French scientists. I'm in the northern hemisphere. Anna is in the southern hemisphere.

Our primary objective in Quito was to book a tour of the Galapagos Islands, which we immediately started working on during the morning of the Sept. 10, 2011.  We finally booked our flight and tour, a total cost of about $1,500 for an 5 days and 4 nights on the Yacht Angelito.
Anna and I then went to the Mitad del Mundo, a park with a monument signifying equator.  There was also several museums, including a planetarium and an insect museum.  Unfortunately, the planetarium was closed.  Fortunately, the insect museum wasn’t.  It had exhibits of butterflies and humongous elephant beetles mostly.

Elephant beetle!

I could feel their tiny little claws through my shirt. It felt like they were piercing my skin. Yikes!

That's actually a nervous smile. You'd be nervous, too, with a gigantic beetle clinging to your face with its sharp little claws!

Next door to the Mitad del Mundo was the Intinan, where the actual equator determined by GPS is located.  There were experiments that one could perform in order to observe the Coriolis effect, such as watching water drain on both sides of the equator and on the equator and being able to balance an egg on nail driven on the equator line.  [In the northern hemisphere, water drains counter-clockwise.  In the southern hemisphere, water drains clockwise.  On the equator line, water drops straight down through the drain.  There is whirlpool.]

This is the real equator at Intinan determined by GPS.