What are Some Countries Along the Equator?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

The equator is a large, imaginary circle that people imagine as being drawn around the Earth equidistant from the North and South pole. It forms the base from which latitude is calculated, with a designation of 0°. It is about 24,902 miles (40,076 km) in length, and intersects the continents of South America and Africa, and also passes through Indonesia. West of Africa, it passes through Sao Tome & Principe.

In South America, the equator passes through Ecuador, Colombia and the top of Brazil.
In South America, the equator passes through Ecuador, Colombia and the top of Brazil.

In Africa, the equator cuts through close to the center of the continent, north to south. It crosses Gabon near the capital, Libreville, about one third of the way through the country from the northernmost border. The line also runs through Republic of the Congo, with a similar division of territory to that in Gabon.

The equator cuts through the center of the continent of Africa.
The equator cuts through the center of the continent of Africa.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it passes south of Kisangani, with approximately a quarter of the length of the country to its north. In Uganda, the equator passes very near Kampala, the capital. It passes north of Nairobi in Kenya, which it splits nearly in halves, and then through the very southern end of Somalia. The line also passes through the Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean.

The southern end of Somalia touches the equator.
The southern end of Somalia touches the equator.

The equator passes through South America near the northern end of the continent. It passes just north of Quito in Ecuador, separates Colombia into about three quarters to the north and one third to the south, and then crosses the top of Brazil, passing through Macapá.

The line crosses several of the islands of Indonesia in the Malay archipelago. It divides Sumatra about in half and then passes through the Lingga or Linga Islands. The equator runs through the Indonesian portion of Borneo, known as Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and the Moluccas. To the east, it also passes through the Republic of Kiribati, also known as part of the Line Islands or Equatorial Islands. Equatorial Guinea and its islands, despite its name, is actually located about 3° N.

Indonesia is near the equator.
Indonesia is near the equator.
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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Discussion Comments

anon324883

What about Namibia? Does the equator cross there? It's a country in Africa.

ysmina

@roxytalks-- I don't think so.

When I think of the equator, I just think about how the weather is always the same there year around. Since the sun's rays always hit the equator at the same angle, there aren't dramatic temperature variations there throughout the year. I think the temperature stays almost the same all four seasons.

I actually would love to live somewhere on the equator, like Ecuador or Brazil, just to enjoy this weather. Just think about it, you won't have to switch between summer and winter clothing. Your body won't have to keep adjusting to different temperatures. I think it would be great.

roxytalks

I've never been anywhere near the equator, so I don't really know if it's considered a special thing in any of the countries that it runs through.

I wonder if it is treated as a sort of unofficial border anywhere. Do people refer to it in conversation, for example by saying that something is "just north of the equator?"

Are there any countries that have an actual line drawn on the ground to show where the equator is?

watson42

How ironic that Equatorial Guinea is actually not on the equator, but there are actually many other relatively unknown countries across the equator's circumference. People often refer to the equator as a tropical place that must be lovely to live near, but in fact there are probably few vacation spots in the areas listed above.

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