Many of the information contained in the mythology of almost all religions is contrary to science. Although, these have been written long before modern science, but some of them are propagated as scientific facts. One of these stories has been propagated by connecting it to the famous Thillai Nataraja Temple at Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu.
Some claim that this temple is situated just above the center of the earth. At the same time, some claim that this temple is located at the center of the Earth's magnetic equator. This information also found its way through social media and reached the mainstream media of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka where such claims were published in the articles.
In 2016, an article in the Sri Lankan mainstream media wrote that after eight years of research and spending crores of dollars, it has been found that the magnetic center of the earth is under the thumb of Chidambaram Natraj's statue. However, in this article it was not clear who has done this research and on what basis this claim is being made.
This myth has become so powerful that the official website of the Cuddalore district in which the city of Chidambaram is located says that 'this temple is situated at the center of the world's magnetic equator'. Let us examine the claim that this temple is located at the center of the Earth and the center of the magnetic equator.
According to the US space agency NASA, Earth's radius at the equator is 6378.137 kilometers and its polar radius is 6,356.752 kilometers. The total radius of the Earth is 6371 km. This figure is accepted all over the world. Now, if the world were round, its diameter would be the same everywhere, but it's not like that. Let us know how.
Like many scientific organizations, NASA also believes that the Earth is not completely round but its shape is 'flat oval'. This is because the surface of the North and South Pole is slightly flattened.
The Earth's polar radius (the distance between the two poles and between the poles from the center of the Earth) is less than the equatorial radius (the distance between any point marked between the center of the Earth and the equator). Due to the way the earth is moving from west to east, centrifuge force comes into play. For this reason, it extends from the middle, i.e. near the equator and its radius is increased here.
Another claim is being made about the Natraj temple that it is situated in the middle of the magnetic equator. Earth's magnetic field spans several thousand kilometers which also goes to space. It originates from the inner part of the earth which is the center of the earth due to its magnetic iron core. This means that the Chidambaram temple cannot be located at the center of the magnetic field. This is also fake news.
The Earth's magnetic field exists as the Northern Magnetic Field and the Southern Magnetic Field. The Earth's North Magnetic Pole meets the South Pole, while the Southern magnetic pole comes from the North Pole. When you go from the South Pole to the North Pole or so on, the distance between the two magnetic poles will be the same in a line. This is called the Earth's magnetic equator. But like the geographic equator, it is not a straight line. Due to particles emanating from the sun, it fluctuates in the range of 10-15 kilometers.
This magnetic equator passes near Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu and is at Tirunelveli, the magnetic observatory of the Indian Institute of Geosciences, Mumbai. The magnetic equator is an imaginary line on Earth that is spherical and cannot have a central point.
In the case of the Chidambaram temple, it is claimed that the magnetic equator passes through it while it is 400 km away from Chidambaram. Hence, it is a totally unscientific claim being made throughout social media.