Countries That Lie on the Equator

Map of the World & Equator
Jennifer Thermes/ Photodisc/ Getty Images

Thirteen countries in the world lie on the earth's equator — located at 0 degrees latitude — though not all of these countries' landmasses necessarily touch the equator itself. 

Sao Tome and Principe, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Maldives, Indonesia, Kiribati, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil all lie along the equator, and though the landmasses of Maldives and Kiribati do not touch the equator itself, the equator passes through water controlled by these two territories.

In terms of climate, countries that lie along the equator experience much warmer temperatures year-round, with winter never really coming due to the equator's near-constant exposure to the same levels of sun exposure year-round.

Of Latitude and Seasons

In geographic terms, the equator is one of five notable circles of latitude that help provide relative locations on an atlas; the other four include the Arctic Circle, Antarctic Circle, the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. However, the equator is the only one of the five that passes through the center of the globe.

In terms of seasons, the plane of the equator passes through the sun at the March and September equinoxes, wherein the sun appears to travel directly north to south over the Equator at these times.

Because of this, people living along the equator experience the quickest sunrises and sunsets as the sun travels perpendicular to the equator most of the year, with the length of days being almost entirely the same throughout — with daylight lasting 14 minutes longer than nighttime.

Climate and Temperatures

The equator, surprisingly, offers a diverse climate due to the geographical features of countries that lie along it. Still, there is little fluctuation in temperature throughout the year, though there may be dramatic differences in rainfall and humidity, which are determined by wind currents coming up and down toward the Equator.

The terms summer, fall, winter and spring don't really apply to regions along the equator, instead, people who live in the especially humid tropic regions refer to only two seasons: wet and dry. Still, some locations such as the Andes or Mount Kilimanjaro have snow and ice year-round due to altitude.

The highest point along the Equator is at the Volcán Cayambe in Ecuador, with an elevation of 15,387 feet, which is slightly above the snow line and the only place on the Equator where snow lies on the ground year-round, even though the snow line is about 1,000 meters less than that of the rest of the world.