# Two points on the equator

### Problem statement

If you have two points both lying on the equator of the Earth, why is following the equator (in whichever direction is closer) not always a shortest path between them? (Ignore mountains and such!)

### Solution to metapuzzle: show

### Restated puzzle: show

You have two points both lying on the equator of the Earth, regarded as an oblate spheroid. Why is following the equator (in whichever direction is closer) not always a shortest path between them?

### Solution to puzzle: show

If the two points are antipodal or nearly so, the shortest route between them is via a pole.

### Comments: show

I believe that this is a good metapuzzle-puzzle pair, and that it was intended as such by the setter.

The simple model of the earth as a sphere does not provide a solution. The next-simplest model does provide a solution.

**Source: **Nick Krempel

This is one of several pages on puzzles and metapuzzles
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