What is zero degrees latitude?


The Equator is 0 degrees latitude. The point where 0 degrees latitude and 0 degrees longitude meet is in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Decimal degrees

Decimal degrees (DD) express latitude and longitude geographic coordinates as decimal fractions and are used in many geographic information systems (GIS), web mapping applications such as Google Maps, and GPS devices. Decimal degrees are an alternative to using degrees, minutes, and seconds (DMS). As with latitude and longitude, the values are bounded by ±90° and ±180° respectively.

Positive latitudes are north of the equator, negative latitudes are south of the equator. Positive longitudes are east of Prime Meridian, negative longitudes are west of the Prime Meridian. Latitude and longitude are usually expressed in that sequence, latitude before longitude.

The 61st parallel south is a circle of latitude that is 61 degrees south of the Earth's equatorial plane. No land lies on the parallel — it crosses nothing but the Southern Ocean.

Starting at the Prime Meridian and heading eastwards, the parallel 61° south passes through:

Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about 106,400,000 square kilometres (41,100,000 sq mi), it covers approximately 20 percent of the Earth's surface and about 29 percent of its water surface area. The first part of its name refers to Atlas of Greek mythology, making the Atlantic the "Sea of Atlas".

The oldest known mention of "Atlantic" is in The Histories of Herodotus around 450 BC (Hdt. 1.202.4): Atlantis thalassa (Greek: Ἀτλαντὶς θάλασσα; English: Sea of Atlas). The term Ethiopic Ocean, derived from Ethiopia, was applied to the southern Atlantic as late as the mid-19th century. Before Europeans discovered other oceans, the term "ocean" itself was synonymous with the waters beyond the Strait of Gibraltar that we now know as the Atlantic. The early Greeks believed this ocean to be a gigantic river encircling the world.


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