Strangers in Latitude – What?
By Kelly Dean
Sometimes I think of the strangest things. When times are toughest, I like to put myself in another place mentally — or think about someone who might be in my place and what they’re doing to get along. It gives me another perspective on things.
It levels me and gives me empathy at the same time. Geography is no different.
Florida lies just above the Tropic of Cancer, which lies between the Keys and Cuba. The 30 degree parallel is roughly the state’s northern-most latitude. People in Florida think south to north; people in the north think north to south.
I mention this because most people don’t take the time to look at an old-fashioned globe to get a perspective about where they live in relation to the rest of the world — as far as latitude is concerned – except perhaps Jimmy Buffet.
So as the world spins, here’s a list of places in the same 30 degrees to Tropic of Cancer latitudinal band as Florida — just to stimulate some perspective on things:
- Northern half of Mexico and most all of Baja Mexico
- Pacific Ocean (vast lengths)
- Northern Hawaiian Islands (the ones that are a U.S. territory, not a state, think Midway)
- Southern Japanese Islands (but not the main island up north)
- Southeastern Chinese Islands (including Taipei)
- Southern-most China
- Northern-most Myanmar
- Most of Bangladesh
- Most of the Himalayas (I know, talk elevation)
- Northern half of India
- Southern half of Pakistan
- Southern Iran
- All the Persian Gulf
- Northern tip of Oman
- Nearly all of United Arab Emirates (think Dubai)
- Most of northern Saudi Arabia
- Top third of the Red Sea
- Most of Egypt
- Most of Libya
- Southern Algeria
- Northern Mauritania
- Mid and southern Morocco
- Canary Islands
- Atlantic Ocean (vast strip)
- The Bahamas
When it comes to weather, certainly the way the earth moves has some impact on how warm it is in your part of the world; distance from the ocean, currents, elevation, flora and other factors affect weather but latitude is a big one.
At the very same latitude, you get everything from famous desserts, to tropical rain forests, to freezing mountaintops, to tropical climates — like Florida — it just depends upon the factors above. If you look at the world latitudinally, it’s just another perspective on where we are in the world. You can even do this for the Southern Hemisphere as well along the Tropic of Capricorn, of course.
Maybe if we look at how people are similar rather than different, we can get another useful insight on how we view others.
Oh, and thank you, Jimmy Buffet, you’re probably right.