In some ways, the Equator is like the line of scrimmage in a football game. It’s unseen and doesn’t technically exist, at least tangibly; but is always acknowledged and still an important, necessary part of its environment. And its purpose in either instance is to draw a clear line of distinction. But while the former merely separates offenses from defenses, the latter separates our entire planet into northern and southern hemispheres.
If you were to ask people what first comes to mind when they think about the Equator, “excessive heat” would likely be the most common response. And it would be a reasonable answer. However, its hotter temperatures aren’t owed to it being all that much closer to the sun than other areas of Earth, but rather due to its angle to it. The Equator faces our sun straight on, with few barriers against heat-absorption; whereas the significant snow and ice at the North and South Poles reflect and deflect away much of its rays.* (A snow factoid of which our regular readers are surely already well aware.)
Our Equator resides at 0 degrees latitude, and more than three-quarters of it traverses ocean water. Which makes sense of course, as a majority of the Earth is covered in it. However, according to infoplease.com, the line does intersect thirteen different countries, which it lists as: Ecuador, (well, yeah; that one was kind of a given) Columbia, Brazil, Sao Tome and Principe, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Maldives, Indonesia and Kiribati. (Thanks, infoplease!)
So, right about now you may be asking yourself, why the geography lesson? Well, because protecting your skin from the sun is our business, and we try to prevent sun skin damage while spreading skin cancer awareness in a variety of interesting ways. (And if you’re ever on a game show where the Bonus Round topic is The Equator, you’re welcome in advance.)
Continuing on, for one reason or another at some point you might find yourself traveling to any of these countries. If so perhaps being reminded of where they’re located, or more precisely on what they’re located, will better encourage you to bring and continually wear sunscreen and sun-safe clothing while visiting. And should that be the case, we just couldn’t be happier.
Sundicators: The Best Skin-surance Under the Sun!
*Sources include National Geographic, Hong Kong Observatory and infoplease.com
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