The Equator is one of the five circles of latitude that divides the Earth exactly in two such that any point of the equator is exactly an equal distance from both the North and South poles. There are thirteen countries that lie on the Equator:

• 7 in Africa: Sao Tome and Principe, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, and Somalia.

• 3 in South America: Ecuador, Colombia, and Brazil.

• And the remaining three are island nations in the Indian and Pacific oceans: Maldives, Kiribati, and Indonesia.

Each of the countries except Maldives and Kiribati have landmass that lies on the Equator itself. In the case of the Maldives and Kiribati, the Equator passes through water controlled by them.

Countries that lie on the Equator have warmer climates than countries with similar elevation because of the near-constant exposure to the same levels of sunlight all year round. Between the March and September equinoxes, the sun appears to travel directly overhead north to south. As a result, countries that lie on the Equator experience the quickest sunrises/sunsets and the length of their days are almost entirely the same throughout the year.

Almost half of the world's rain forest lies within countries on the Equator, mainly concentrated within Congo, Brazil, and Indonesia.

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