I recently returned from a trip to Kenya where I got to go to the Equator. I’m sure we learned all about the Equator in school, but really my only recollection was that the Equator was the line on the globe that ran through the middle of our continent. When you see the Equator in person, there’s no visible line, but I assure you there’s an imaginary one. Let’s explore, together, life at the Equator. I promise you will find it fascinating.
Since I moved to the Southern Hemisphere, I’ve read about the gravitational pull and how it’s different than the Northern Hemisphere. It really is true that when you flush a toilet in the Southern Hemisphere, the water goes counter-clockwise rather than clockwise like it does in my home country of the USA.
I was fascinated by the simple science experiment that our friendly Equator guide did for us. Let me indulge you. Standing at the imaginary line Equator sign, we walked about ten meters toward the Northern Hemisphere. He poured water into a bowl with a hole, and we watched it swirl downward in a clockwise direction. We then walked ten meters on the other side of the Equator sign to the Southern Hemisphere side. He poured the water again, and we watched it swirl downward in a counter-clockwise direction. There was definitely a visible difference in the gravitational pull. For the final experiment, we walked directly under the sign. This time, as he poured the water, we watched it go directly down, no clockwise or counter-clockwise movement at all. All of this happened within twenty feet. I was amazed the impact that imaginary line has on our world.
Our guide went on to voice theories such as the direction your hair grows depending on which hemisphere you are born on. I don’t know if that’s true, but it sure would be interesting to line up heads from different hemispheres to find out! I should have examined the heads of the children who came up to view the freak show, aka white faces, that showed up.
Travel is fun. There’s no doubt about that. In the midst of fun, there’s so much opportunity for learning. To read with your own eyes something that you’ve read about in text books provides more of a lasting impression than books can offer.
If you ever find yourself anywhere near the Equator, I highly recommend checking out what life is like there. Then you can point to a globe and show that you’ve been there!