Which Countries Are in the Southern Hemisphere?

James Saunders/CC-BY-SA 2.0

The Southern Hemisphere contains all or parts of five continents, including all of Antarctica, Australia, almost all of South America, the southern third of Africa and some southern islands in Asia (parts of Indonesia). It also includes four oceans (Indian, South Atlantic, Southern and South Pacific) and a major part of Oceania.

The Southern Hemisphere refers to the southern portion or half of the Earth. It starts at the equator at 0 degrees and stretches south into higher latitudes until it reaches 90 degrees south, also known as the South Pole, which is in the middle of Antarctica. Compared to the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere has fewer land masses and more water.

The South Atlantic, the South Pacific, the Indian Ocean and several seas, including the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand and the Weddell Sea next to Antarctica, constitute approximately 80.9 percent of the Southern Hemisphere. Land constitutes about 19.1 percent. In the Northern Hemisphere, on the other hand, most of the area is comprised of land masses. The climate in the Southern Hemisphere tends to be slightly milder than in the Northern Hemisphere at the same latitudes, with the exception of the Antarctic, which is colder than the Arctic. The milder climate is due to the presence of more oceans and much less land.