Visiting the Equator

Posted by Samuel Phineas Upham

Every once in a while we need to take a closer look at the equator. Is that even possible? In the article “Zero Latitude,” by Jamie Malanowski, he provides an in depth exploration of the invisible line around the Earth. While there is so much we can say about it, he suggests that “the only thing about the equator that you have to know is this: It isn’t there. It’s imaginary.”

In the article, Malanowski takes this theme and writes about a variety of imaginary things that are still real. The article takes us to the origins of its discovery (the Greek mathematician Eratosthenes) and covers a few ancient but comical myths about life near the equator, such as the theory that there might be people with huge feet.

Malanowski also reveals a ceremony related to crossing the equator and how different people at different times celebrated the crossing. Even Mark Twain wrote about ritual when he wrote Following the Equator.

To read the entire article, please visit