Southern Hemisphere Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

How would you like to visit a place that has lots of water, fewer people and less pollution? If that sounds interesting, read on to find out about the Southern Hemisphere of Earth!

Where Is The Southern Hemisphere?

Have you ever heard of the Southern Hemisphere? From the name, you can tell it's in the south, but what else can we tell from its name?

A hemisphere is half of a sphere; any time you see the prefix ''hemi-'' in a word, you can be sure it means ''half.'' A sphere is like a ball; in this case, the sphere we're talking about is the Earth. So, a hemisphere is half of the Earth, and the Southern Hemisphere is the southern half of the Earth.

The Southern Hemisphere includes everything south of the Equator.

The Equator is an imaginary line that divides the Earth into the Northern Hemisphere, which is north of the Equator, and the Southern Hemisphere, which includes everything that is south of the equator. You'd think that both halves of the Earth would be similar, wouldn't you? Actually, they're very different!

The Larger Hemisphere

  • Because the Earth is actually not a sphere, but is really shaped more like a pear, the Southern Hemisphere is actually a little bit larger than the Northern Hemisphere.
  • if you look at a map or globe and compare the Southern Hemisphere with the Northern Hemisphere, you'll notice right away that the Southern Hemisphere has less land and more water than the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Because there is much less land in the Southern Hemisphere than in the Northern Hemisphere, it's not surprising that there are also fewer people living in the Southern Hemisphere. Only about 10% of the people on Earth, or 1 in every 10, live in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • There are seven continents, which are large bodies of land, on the Earth. Australia and Antarctica are two continents that are completely in the Southern Hemisphere. Parts of the continents of Asia and Africa are also in the Southern Hemisphere, as is most of South America. The continents of Europe and North America are completely in the Northern Hemisphere.

Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere.

  • Although there's really just one huge ocean on the Earth, we divide it into five parts so that it's easier to talk about specific areas. The five oceans on Earth are the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic and Southern Oceans. The Southern Ocean, which was named about 17 years ago, is completely in the Southern Hemisphere, along with parts of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. The Arctic Ocean is completely in the Northern Hemisphere.

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