Geography worldwide holds very curious anecdotes. One of the most interesting is the existence of a country that is located in the four hemispheres. That is, its territory occupies the northern hemisphere, the southern hemisphere, the western hemisphere and the eastern hemisphere.
If the planet is divided into four parts taking the equator and the 180th meridian as a reference, Kiribati is the only country that has the geographical honor of being present in those four portions of the Earth. This is even more striking if one takes into account that the country is one of the smallest in the world, with an area of 810 square kilometers (a figure smaller than that of the island of Lanzarote).
Beyond its location (in the central western area of the Pacific Ocean, northeast of Australia), this fact is explained because Kiribati is made up of a group of 33 coral atolls and the volcanic island of Banaba, territories that are spread across an area of more than three million square kilometers. This great separation is what causes the country to expand throughout the four hemispheres of the planet.
It should be noted that an atoll is an oceanic coral island, generally shaped like a more or less circular ring. The RAE defines this geographical element as a “ring-shaped coral reef with an interior lagoon that communicates with the sea through narrow passages.”
Precisely, another of the records that Kiribati has is that of having the largest atoll on Earth. Likewise, it is also the first populated place in the world to go around the sun every year, so it is always the first country to welcome the new year.
However, its little more than 125,000 inhabitants may have a serious problem in the medium term, since, according to a United Nations report prepared in 1989, Kiribati (with its low average altitude) would be one of the first countries to disappear if it occurs. a rise in sea level.