The Southern Hemisphere is the half (hemisphere
) of Earth
that is south
of the Equator
. It contains all or parts of five continent
, about 90% of South America
, one third of Africa
, and several islands off the continental mainland
), four ocean
, South Atlantic
, and South Pacific
), New Zealand
and most of the Pacific Islands
. Its surface is 80.9% water, compared with 60.7% water in the case of the Northern Hemisphere
, and it contains 32.7% of Earth's land.
Owing to the tilt of Earth's rotation
relative to the Sun
and the ecliptic plane
is from December to February (inclusive) and winter
is from June to August (inclusive). September 22 or 23 is the vernal equinox
and March 20 or 21 is the autumnal equinox. The South Pole
is in the center of the southern hemispherical region.
Southern Hemisphere climate
s tend to be slightly milder than those at similar latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere
, except in the Antarctic
which is colder than the Arctic
. This is because the Southern Hemisphere has significantly more ocean and much less land; water heats up and cools down more slowly than land. The differences are also attributed to oceanic heat transfer and differing extents of greenhouse trapping.
left|thumb|Aurora australis appearing from _in_the_south_of_[[New_Zealand">Stewart_Island_/_Rakiura
_in_the_south_of_[[New_Zealand_.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="New_Zealand.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Stewart Island / Rakiura in the south of [[New Zealand">Stewart Island / Rakiura in the south of [[New Zealand ">New_Zealand.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Stewart Island / Rakiura in the south of [[New Zealand">Stewart Island / Rakiura in the south of [[New Zealand
In the Southern Hemisphere, the sun passes from east to west through the north, although north of the [[Tropic of Capricorn]] the [[Mean solar time|mean sun]] can be directly overhead or due north at midday. The Sun follows a right-to-left trajectory through the northern sky unlike the left-to-right motion of the Sun when seen from the Northern Hemisphere as it passes through the southern sky. Sun-cast shadows turn anticlockwise throughout the day and sundial
s have the hours increasing in the anticlockwise direction. During solar eclipse
s viewed from a point to the south of the Tropic of Capricorn, the Moon moves from left to right on the disc of the Sun (see, for example, photos with timings of the solar eclipse of November 13, 2012
), while viewed from a point to the north of the Tropic of Cancer (i.e., in the Northern Hemisphere), the Moon moves from right to left during solar eclipses.
The Coriolis effect
causes cyclones and tropical storms to spin clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere (as opposed to anticlockwise
in the Northern Hemisphere).
The southern temperate zone
, a subsection of the Southern Hemisphere, is nearly all oceanic.
constellation that includes the galactic centre
is a southern constellation as well as both Magellanic Clouds
. This, combined with clearer skies, makes for excellent viewing of the night sky from the Southern Hemisphere with brighter and more numerous stars.
Forests in the Southern Hemisphere have special features which set them apart from those in the Northern Hemisphere. Both Chile and Australia share, for example, unique beech
species or ''Nothofagus
'', and New Zealand has members of the closely related genera ''Lophozonia
'' and ''Fuscospora
''. The eucalyptus
is native to Australia
but is now also planted in Southern Africa
and Latin America
for pulp production, and increasingly, biofuel
Demographics and human geography
More than 800 million humans live in the Southern Hemisphere, representing around 10–12% of the total global human population of 7.3 billion. Of those 800 million people, more than 200 million live in Brazil
, the largest country by land area in the Southern Hemisphere, while 145 million live on the island of Java
, the most populous in the world. The most populous country in the Southern Hemisphere is Indonesia
, with 267 million people (roughly 30 million of whom live north of the Equator on the northern portions of the islands of Sumatra
, and Sulawesi
, as well as the most of North Maluku
, while the rest of the population lives in the Southern Hemisphere). Portuguese
is the most spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere, with over 230 million speakers in eight countries.
The largest metropolitan areas in the Southern Hemisphere are Jakarta
(33 million people), São Paulo
(22 million), Kinshasa-Brazzaville
(17 million), Buenos Aires
(16 million), Rio de Janeiro
(12 million each), Johannesburg
(11 million), Lima
(10 million), Bandung
(9 million), Luanda
(8 million), Dar es Salaam
(7 million), Santiago
(6 million each), Sydney
, Belo Horizonte
(5 million each). Important financial and commercial centers in the Southern Hemisphere include São Paulo, where the B3 (stock exchange)
is headquartered, along with Sydney, home to the Australian Securities Exchange
, Jakarta, seat of the Indonesia Stock Exchange
, Johannesburg, home to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange
, and Buenos Aires, headquarters of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange
, the oldest stock market in the Southern Hemisphere.
Among the most developed nations in the Southern Hemisphere is Australia, with a nominal GDP ''per capita'' of USD 51,885 and a Human Development Index
(HDI) of 0.944, the eighth-highest in the world as of the 2020 report. New Zealand is also well developed, with a nominal GDP ''per capita'' of USD 38,675 and an HDI of 0.931, putting it at number 14 in the world in 2020. The least developed nations in the Southern Hemisphere cluster in Africa and Oceania, with Mozambique
at the lowest ends of the HDI, at 0.456 (number 181 in the world) and 0.433 (number 185 in the world), respectively. The nominal GDPs ''per capita'' of these two countries do not go above USD 550, a tiny fraction of the incomes enjoyed by Australians and New Zealanders.
The most widespread religions in the Southern Hemisphere are Christianity
in South America, Southern Africa, Australia and Oceania, followed by Islam
in most of the islands of Indonesia and in parts of southeastern Africa, and Hinduism
, which is mostly concentrated on and around the islands of Bali
The oldest continuously inhabited city in the Southern Hemisphere is Bogor
, in western Java
, which was founded in 669 CE. Ancient texts from the Hindu kingdoms prevalent in the area definitively record 669 CE as the year when Bogor was founded. However, some evidence shows that Zanzibar
, an ancient port with around 200,000 inhabitants off the coast of Tanzania
, may be older than Bogor. A Greco-Roman text written between 1 and 100 CE, the ''Periplus of the Erythraean Sea''
, mentioned the island of ''Menuthias'' (Ancient Greek
: Μενουθιάς) as a trading port on the east African coast, which is probably the small Tanzanian island of Unguja
on which Zanzibar is located. The oldest monumental civilizations in the Southern Hemisphere are the Norte Chico civilization
and Casma–Sechin culture
from the northern coast of Peru. These civilizations built cities, pyramids, and plazas in the coastal river valleys of northern Peru with some ruins dated back to 3600 BCE.
List of continents and countries
Continents and submerged continent
– about one-third, from south of Mogadishu
in the east to south of Libreville
in the west.
– the entire continent and its associated islands are wholly within the Southern Hemisphere.
– only the southern portion of Maritime Southeast Asia
, including East Timor
and most of Indonesia
, plus the British Indian Ocean Territory
and two out of 26 atoll
s of Maldives
in the Indian Ocean
. The entire continental mainland is wholly within the Northern Hemisphere
– the entire continent and its associated islands such as Tasmania
and New Guinea
are wholly within the Southern Hemisphere.
* South America
– mostly, from south of the Amazon River
mouth in Brazil
in the east to north of Quito
in the west.
– the entire submerged continent
, including New Caledonia
, New Zealand
, Norfolk Island
, and other associated low-lying islands above sea level, is wholly within the Southern Hemisphere.
Countries and territories
* Land and water hemispheres
Category:Hemispheres of Earth