13.07 The Arctic Equator

The true "Equator" of Earth is not found running through Africa and South America as widely believed, but rather around the Arctic Circle. According to scientists from NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the true shape of the Earth approximates an oblate spheroid—a sphere flattened along the axis from pole to pole with a bulge around the Equator. It is here, at the bulge of the Earth (i.e., the Equator), that the atmosphere of the Earth is the thinnest, producing freezing temperatures nearly year-round due to the lack of sunlight induced by Earth’s wobble. Due to Earth’s disc-like shape, the outer most edges of the Earth (i.e., the rim) are depicted in the Equilateral arch found within Roman Catholic Churches worldwide. The architectural tribute was evidently named and shaped after Earth’s Equator. Due to disc-like shape of Earth, beyond the Arctic Equator lies the Northern Hemisphere, consisting of Greenland and northern parts of Canada and Russia. In order to sell the notion that the Equator is halfway between the Arctic Circle and the non-existent Antarctica, the Roman Empire gave the name of “Ecuador” (1830) to a country in South America and the name of “Equatorial Guinea” (1968) to a country in Africa. Stranger yet is that an African and South American country would elect to give themselves a name based on Roman-English terms such as “equate” and “equal”. According to Merriam-Webster, the term “equator”, which was first used in the 14th century, is defined in part as “a great circle of the earth…that is everywhere equally distant from the two poles and divides the surface into the northern and southern hemispheres”. The term “great circle”, which was first used in 1594, is subsequently defined in part as “a circle on the surface of the earth…which connecting two terrestrial points constitutes the shortest distance on the earth's surface between them”. Therefore, it can be deduced that the Northern Hemisphere is the area north of the Arctic Circle while the Southern Hemisphere is the area south of the Arctic Circle. The notion that “connecting two terrestrial points constitutes the shortest distance on the earth's surface between them” is not possible using the accepted basketball-like model of Earth for all points are relatively equal distance from each other. Only by employing the oblate spheroid shape of Earth which features a bulge (i.e., the Equator) can the definition of the great circle be validated. Lastly, considering that the North Pole was not discovered until 1908, and the South Pole was not discovered until 1911, the very notion that Roman Empire knew where the equator was prior is highly suspect. In other words, until one knows where the most northern and southern part of the Earth are located, it’s impossible to know the halfway point (i.e., the Equator). Nevertheless, Ecuador”, which literally translates as "Republic of the Equator", was given its name in 1830, a total of 78 years prior to the North Pole being discovered.