Abigail Prutchi at the official “Mitad del Mundo” monument commemorating the 18th Century French Geodesic Mission marking of the Equator
Abigail and I just returned from a trip to the Galapagos Islands. On the way, we visited the iconic Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World) monument which commemorates the 18th-century French Geodesic Mission expedition carried out for the purpose of measuring the roundness of the Earth and measuring the length of a degree of latitude at the Equator.
The monument is constructed at the site where the Geodesic Mission calculated the passing of the Equator. Modern measurements show that the Equator actually crosses about 240 meters north of the marked line. Not bad at all for 18th-Century Physics, and an accomplishment worthy of the beautiful monument that commemorates it!
The Intiñan Solar Museum is a shameless tourist trap. Tour guides get a kickback from the unscrupulous owners of this site where credulous tourists are shown tricks that supposedly can happen only at the Equator. This is a prime example of Bad Physics fueled by greed!
Recently however, a group of unscrupulous investors led by Mr. Humberto Vera started the Intiñan Solar Museum, which reportedly marks the true Equator. Not true!
Tour guides take tourists there because the museum pays them a kickback (which the official Mitad del Mundo doesn’t).