The Equator

The region around the Equator is the area with the world's greatest concentration of human poverty and natural biodiversity.

The Equator receives more heat and energy from the Sun than any other part of the planet throughout the whole year.

The Sun follows the exact line of the Equator twice every year, on the spring and vernal equinoxes.

The invisible line traced by the Equator covers over 40,000km around the planet, crossing 14 countries and 12 sections of sea or ocean.

“Crossing the line” ceremonies, celebrating a ship’s crew crossing the Equator, have been carried out since the 18th century.

The closer the observer is to the Equator, the quicker the Sun appears to rise and set.

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Flying at 13,000m - Zero degrees latitude


Flying at 4,000m - The Intertropical Convergence Zone


Flying at sea level - Crossing the line

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© 2017 Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)