According to one person there, the ground conditions at the actual Equator are not stable enough to hold a monument nor to welcome the huge crowds that regularly arrive to see it; according to someone else, however, the monument’s original builders “believed they were placing the monument in the correct spot, except that measuring techniques at the time were not as accurate as they are today, so they were off by a few hundred feet.”

This is why a private counter-monument has been built, supposedly on the real Equator, in a place called Inti-ñan: “just a two-minute drive from the Middle of the World, at a small, privately owned site called Inti-ñan, there is a sign on a gate saying that its location is ‘calculated with GPS’ to be exactly at 0 latitude.” However, as we glimpsed with the help of Marguerite Holloway, commercially available GPS is not as precise as most people believe it to be, and it is subject to its own asynchronies and drifts.

As such, we read, even nominally accurate GPS readings at Inti-ñan actually “varied depending on how devices were calibrated. That, a local guide said, was why, on this occasion, a visitor’s GPS held over the line of bricks that Inti-ñan uses to mark its claim to equatorial exactitude showed that it was still several yards to the south of where it ought to be.”