15 Amazing Equator Facts That Would Inflate Your Curiosity

Sridevi Tolety
Sep 08, 2022 By Sridevi Tolety
Originally Published on Mar 23, 2022
Edited by Aubree Mosby
Fact-checked by Shreya Yadav
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One cool equator fact is that it passes through the center of the globe.

The term emanates from the medieval Latin phrase 'circulus aequator diei et noctis,' where 'aequator' in the phrase means 'a circle that balances the day and night'.

The radius of the Earth's equator is slightly more as it is bulgy at the equator. The equatorial bulge is approximately 27 mi (43 km) compared to the poles.

It is a great ring around the planet that is halfway from the geographical poles. The diameter of the Earth's equator is around 7,926 mi (12,756 km). The equator passes through 79% of water and 21% of land, approximately.

Equatorial Location

It is equal in distance from the geographic poles, and it is also perpendicular to the axis of the Earth.

The invisible line at 0° latitude is the equator.

At the equator, the planet's surface is parallel to the rotation axis.

The celestial equator is an imaginary ring on the terrestrial equator that bisects the celestial sphere. It is consequently halfway from the celestial poles.

Distance From The North And South Pole

The equator is located midway from the north and south poles.

The distance between the equator from either the North or South Pole is approximately 6,215 mi (10,002 km).

The lines above the equator in the northern hemisphere are referred to as the north latitude, and those below the equator in the southern hemisphere are known as the south latitude.

The imaginary circles drawn from the North Pole to the South Pole are called meridians or longitudes. The equator cuts these meridians into two halves. 

Equatorial Climate & Season

Countries do not encounter the four seasons near this imaginary line, so the weather is typically warm.

The length of night and day is approximately the same, and the daylight is also the same around the year. Nighttime is approximately 14 mins shorter than daylight.

Locations near the equator witness the shortest sunrises and sunsets, and for much of the year, the normal direction of the sun is nearly perpendicular to the horizon. Natural biodiversity is more near the equator because of the warm climate allowing the organisms to grow continuously.

The moment at which the sun crosses the celestial equator heading southward is known as September equinoxes.

'Equator' also means 'even-maker' in Latin.

Equatorial Countries and Territories

The equator passes through 11 countries and traverses the territories of two island nations but does not make landfall in either.

Indonesia is a country spread across both land and sea and has the greatest length of the equatorial line. The other countries on the equator are - Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, São Tomé & Principe, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Maldives, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, and Kiribati.

The gravitational pull at the equator is weaker due to the centrifugal forces of the rotation and is ideal for space launches. The U.S. launches most spacecraft from the Kennedy Space Center in southern Florida.

On the equator, the highest point is located on the Volcán Cayambe's southern slopes at an elevation of 15,387 ft (4,690 m) in Ecuador. This is the only place on the equator where we find snow on the ground.

Other high-altitude peaks like Mount Kilimanjaro and Andes have glaciers. Countries along the equator, such as Indonesia, Congo, and Brazil, host more than half of the global rainforest.

Line Crossing Ceremonies

The Line Crossing Ceremony is an initiation rite incorporated by many navies and celebrated when a sailor first crosses the equator. 

The seamen who have already crossed the equator are called Shellbacks (or Sons Of Neptune), and those who haven't are called PollywogsThe Pollywogs are put through some physical tests to initiate the 'ancient mysteries of the deep.'

This ceremony keeps a sailor away from the sea's perils and brings good luck, and is performed to appease the king.

Pollywogs are then certified with a new status as Golden/Emerald/Royal Diamond Shellbacks, depending on the meridian they crossed.

FAQs

What is unique about the equator?

The Earth is widest at the equator.

How hot is the equator?

The average temperature in equatorial lowlands is around 88°F (31°C) during the afternoon and 73°F (23°C) around sunrise.

Why is the equator important?

The equator is important as it is a reference for navigation and geography.

Is the equator the hottest place on Earth?

No, it is hottest in the desert when compared to the equator.

Is there winter on the equator?

There is a slight change in the temperature, but the terms 'summer', 'winter', 'spring', and 'autumn' generally do not apply at the equator.

How many countries are on the equator?

The equator is an imaginary line that passes through 13 countries.

Why is the equator not a desert?

Deserts do not occur near the equator, and it has a tropical climate.

What U.S. state is closest to the equator?

Hawaii, a U.S. state, is closest to the equator.

How much sunlight does the equator get?

The equator receives the most solar radiation on Earth. The length of the day is approximately 12 hours all year round.

Why is it called the equator?

In Latin, equator means 'even-maker.' The length of day and night is the same throughout the year, and it divides the Earth into two halves.

Do equator countries have seasons?

The countries at the equator have little seasonal variations. As the length of the day and night are the same, they remain warm throughout the year. They typically have altering rainy and dry seasons.

Do you weigh more or less at the equator?

Though your body weight doesn't change, you weigh less at the equator because of the decreased gravitational force.

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Written by Sridevi Tolety

Bachelor of Science specializing in Botany, Master of Science specializing in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs

Sridevi Tolety picture

Sridevi ToletyBachelor of Science specializing in Botany, Master of Science specializing in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs

With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.

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Fact-checked by Shreya Yadav

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Psychology

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Shreya YadavBachelor of Arts specializing in Psychology

Shreya has developed a diverse set of skills through her experience in client servicing, email marketing, content and e-commerce management, digital marketing, and creative content writing. Her educational background includes a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Indira Gandhi National Open University, Delhi. Shreya's passion for ongoing learning and development is a testament to her commitment to excellence.

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