The Equator

The Equator is an imaginary line on the Earth’s surface that is equidistant from the north and south poles of the Earth, dividing the planet into the Northern and the Southern Hemispheres.

The length of the Equator is about 40,075 km, and 78.7% of the imaginary line passes through water.  The Equator is designated as the 0° latitude (the horizontal).  The UK is roughly 53° North in latitude, although we are also very close to the 0° longitude line (the vertical) which passes through Greenwich.

If you want to live on the Equator you have a choice of 11 countries of the world.  They are (starting in the Atlantic ocean and moving east) São Tomé and Príncipe (islands off west Africa), Gabon, Republic of the Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Indonesia, Ecuador, Colombia, and Brazil.

  • In general, the countries on the equator have a tropical rainforest or equatorial climate.
  • Distinct seasons are usually absent.
  • In some places, however, cold currents trigger tropical monsoon climates accompanied by a dry season.
  • The average temperature of the equatorial countries is around 30 °C during the day.
  • Average annual rainfall is quite high at around 250 to 350 cm per year.  The average for the whole world is about 99cm per year.
  • Daytime and night-time on the equator is always roughly 12 hours, and so the sun rises about 6am and sets about 6pm (within about 5 minutes) every day.