A Foot in Both North & South

Macapá sits on the equator and they have a modest monument marking it.They say that the sun shines right through the hole in the tower during the spring and autumn equinoxes. I don’t know what time it would be.  At high noon the sun should be directly overhead.

This monument is on my list of things that are worth seeing but not worth going to see, but since it was on the way to the boat it was worth stopping and officially putting one foot in each hemisphere. There are lots of myths about the equator. Some people think that an egg can stand up straight on the end on the equator. This is not true. 

A more persistent myth is that water drains in different directions in different hemispheres. This is also is not true.  The idea is based on the Coriolis force, which deflects the air to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. This only affect phenomenon that are spread over very large areas, like hurricanes. In physics weak forces make large extensive things and strong ones make small compact ones. There is no Coriolis affect exactly at the equator, which is why hurricanes can’t cross the equator, probably a good thing. Water going down the drain is too small to be affected or more correctly it is much more affected by other factors such as how the water hits the drain or the shape of the vessel holding the water.

I walked down the rail marking the equator. That was my ritual to the place.

The pictures are all from Macapá. Up top is the equator monument. Below are kids playing soccer in the Amazon. This part is tidal; the river withdraws from the dock at low tide exposing the soccer field. Next is downtown. Not very exciting. And just above shows how little red peddles fall from the trees. It is kind of like the pink snow in the “Cat in the Hat” or maybe like candy. It is pretty in any case.