A promising research project in applied Earth and Planetary Sciences
The project seeks to investigate a largely unknown planetary fact – the exact position of the equator – by means of a simple but nevertheless highly effective method, employing the Coriolis Force (in sinks). It will supply a revolutionary first mapping of the planetary love handles, the so-called earth’s midriff (a misleading term, as the equatorial state of the planet does not at all resemble our cultural ideal of a midriff because we know today that the earth is most corpulent at equidistance between its poles). The equator is usually referred to as a straight line of 40,076.6 km surrounding the earth. But can we be sure of the equator’s linearity? So far, no serious attempts to measure the actual shape of the equator have been undertaken. Thus, the assumption that it shall come out as a straight line is not based on evidence but on faith.
What we propose is a Very Large Measurement (VLM). Simplified, we will construct a Very Large Ship (VLS) and equip it with a number of Very Large Sinks (VLS). We will then head off south (or north, depending on where we are) and after reaching the Field of Potential Equatoriality (FPE), start our systematic measurements with an approximate duration of 4-5 years. We will have constant streams flowing in the VLSs and cross the expected equator at every 2nd kilometer, making large turns in order to allow the exact equator to be measured. Highly sensitized instruments will detect the turning point of water flow. The measured position of the equator at that point will be recorded, and the procedure 20,037.3 times repeated.
To ease measurement, we will ignore all other variables, like waves, wind, temperature, and researcher subjectivity. Even though the validity of our methodological approach is out of question, some issues remain to be discussed: (a) How to go about measuring African and South American equatorial lines without being bitten by Very Large Spiders (VLSs) and without acquiring communicable diseases and (b) How to finance the project. A cooperation with McDonalds could be a promising idea, offering the trademark to put up Mc Donalds buoys at every 6th mile and therefore opening up an entirely untouched marketing territory. We realize our duty to contribute to the enlightenment of mankind. This project will most be a milestone in planetary knowledge. It is yet to be explored what practical implications will follow this paradigmatic shift in the ontology of the field.