Have you ever crossed the equator? We don’t think so, or have you? Whatever. The equator is said to be an imaginary line, huge enough to circumference the Earth right along the center, dividing the planet into two equal halves — that’s both northern and southern hemispheres. Unfortunately, there is only one equator, but fortunately enough, certain countries on Earth are geographically lucky to have this one heck of a line cross through their territory. Dear friends, if you ever plan on crossing the equator, then you have to be in one of these 13 countries to do so. However, there’s one spoiler.
Related media: The Equator Passes Through The Following Countries
Where Thy Equator Passeth
Before 1976, the equator was thought of as a model circle with an integer radius, and in that year, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) chose 6,378,140 kilometers as a standard radius, and was later revised by the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) to 6,378,137 kilometers and approved it in 1984. The equator is determined by geodetic calculations to be exactly 40,075.16 kilometers (24,901.6 miles) long and around the Earth, referred to as the zero meridians — also known as latitude 0 degrees (0°).
However, the equator isn’t at an exact position, its perpendicular to the axis of rotation, drifting roughly 2.7 meters (9 feet) each year. This deviation is due to the precession in the axis, and the fact that the Earth is an oblate spheroid; and both northern and southern latitudes increase from the equator to the North and South Pole point, respectively. Its part of the coordinate system used to determine a point on the surface of the Earth. Its the only place on the planet where linear velocity is at its highest, and gravity is at its least at the same time.
Latitudes on the equator absorb rays from the sun at full right angles twice a year; these events happen on March 21 and September 23. However, the rays take a vertical close angle on other days. Times during the day and night are equal. Due to this effect, it causes tropical climate along regions of the equator — the abundance of rainfall during the summer all year long. These regions are the tropics: between the Tropic of Cancer in the north (latitude 23 degrees, 23°N) and the Tropic of Capricorn in the south (latitude 23 degrees, 23°S).
Countries On The Equator
Aforementioned, there are 13 countries on the equator. These are Ecuador, Colombia, and Brazil in South America; São Tomé and Prìncipe, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, and Somalia in Africa; and the Maldives, Indonesia, and Kiribati in Asia and Oceania.
South America (Three Countries)
You’ve noticed the similarity between “Ecuador” and “Equator.” The official name of Ecuador is República del Ecuador, which translates as (you guessed it) the “Republic of the Equator.” The equator runs through the country, and in fact, there’s even a 30-meter (100 feet) monument located some 45 minutes drive north of Quito known as Ciudad Mitad del Mundo. Here, you can stand on both hemispheres in the north and south, literally.
There isn’t much in Colombia and Brazil as that of Ecuador has a monument marking the location of the equator. However, both countries have more of both hemispheres with the equator passing through their country than Ecuador has.
Africa (Seven Countries)
Africa could even be called “the continent of the equator,” and that wouldn’t be over-hyped. Africa wins in the category of “the continent with most countries on the equator.” The equator starts its continental tour through Africa from the west in São Tomé and Prìncipe, through Gabon, through the twin Congo nations, through Uganda, Kenya, and finally exiting through Somalia at the far east. Congratulations Africa!
Did we mention Equatorial Guinea? Spoiler alert: despite the influence of the equator in its name, the equator doesn’t cross Equatorial Guinea. What a miss!
Asia And Oceania (Three Countries)
Last but not least, the equator passes through the archipelago of Maldives of the Indian Ocean, and Indonesia. These are the only two Asian countries the equator passes through. However, Kiribati isn’t of Asia, but in Oceania — any island of the Pacific Ocean stretching from the Strait of Malacca to the coast of the Americas.
Below is a map of the equator line and the countries on the equator.
Which country didn’t we mention? Let us know.
The Effects Of The Equator
So what are the effects of the equator on these countries? Short answer: equator crossing, what else? Just kidding, there’s more than that thru and fro.
First and foremost, seasons in the tropics are fairly balanced all year round. This is due to the fact that the Earth’s axis is tilted (roughly 23.5 degrees) relative to the plane of its revolution, and both hemispheres face the sun at different angles during the year. When its summer in the north, its winter in the south, and vice versa. But the equatorial regions receive an even amount of sunlight, hence fairly balanced seasons of abundant rainfall and sunshine.
Moreover, the equator is located along the three major oceans, namely the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean; and though there is significant differences in rain humidity along the tropics, yet there are a few changes in temperature throughout the year. The average tropical temperature is roughly 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) in the day, and 23 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Fahrenheit) in the night. There are roughly 200 rainy days and over 2,000 solar hours each year.
The seasons of winter, summer, and fall aren’t common in the tropics. Constant rainfall patterns usually result in a rainforest climate that often cause cold currents such as the equatorial climate, also known as the Monsoons. However, and this is a bit eerie, there are glaciers at some high altitudes along the equator — looking at Mountain Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa and the Andes in Ecuador, South America, with the highest point on the equator at the southern slopes of the Volcán Cayambe, at 4,690 meters (15,387 feet).
Have you ever crossed the equator?
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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Fri, Oct 15, 2021.