The world is divided into four hemispheres based on lines of latitude and longitude. The equator is an imaginary line that is equidistant from the North and South Poles. This line falls at zero degrees latitude. The part of the Earth that is north of the equator is known as the Northern Hemisphere. The part of the Earth that is south of the equator is known as the Southern Hemisphere.
The Western and Eastern Hemisphere are divided by zero degrees longitude which is known as the Prime Meridian. The Western Hemisphere occupies the geographic space west of the prime meridian and east of the antemeridian which lies at 180 degrees longitude. The Eastern Hemisphere is found east of the Prime Meridian and west of the antemeridian.
The Only Continent That Can Be Found in All Four Hemispheres
While several of the world’s continents are traversed by the separation between two hemispheres, there is only one continent in the world that lies in all four hemispheres: Africa. This geography fact also means that Africa is the only continent to have land both at the Equator and the Prime Meridian.
These two maps show how the continent of Africa lies in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and the Western and Eastern Hemispheres.
Map of Africa and the Northern and Southern Hemispheres
Map of Africa and the Western and Eastern Hemispheres
- Continents and Population Density
- What is a Continental Divide?
- How Continents are Slowing Down Sea Level Rise
- How to Remember the Difference Between Latitude and Longitude