Posted by: travelrat | February 16, 2020

The Equator


I just realised something. Borneo has a special property. The Equator runs through it! However, it’s entirely contained within Kalimantan, the Indonesian part … which we’re NOT visiting! So, I shall not (much to everyone’s relief!) have an opportunity to lecture my fellow travellers on the Coriolis Effect and Buys Ballot’s Law. So, I shall do it here.

Buys Ballot’s Law states: ‘If you stand with your back to the wind, in the northern hemisphere, the centre of low pressure will be to your left’. Note ‘in the northern hemisphere’ … in the southern hemisphere, it will be to your right. To make things simpler, some authorities advise to observe your bath-water as it drains, In London, it should swirl out in an anti-clockwise direction; in Sydney, it should go clockwise. I say ‘should’, because I don’t really know; I can never remember to look.

That’s in theory, anyway, in practice, the design of your bath or the size of the plughole can be factors.

In the accompanying picture, taken back in 1994, you’ll see a container under the notice. This is used by a man (presumably, he’d gone to lunch, or something) who will, for a fee, demonstrate that principle. I’m not really a meteorologist, although I did, at one time, have a Met Observer’s Certificate, but I do know that, within a certain distance from the Equator, the Coriolis Effect is almost negligible.

So I suspect that, literally as well as figuratively, a certain amount of ‘spin’ is being put on it!


  1. Great post 😁

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