World’s largest cities at/beyond 60 degrees south latitude

This is a very short list, as there are no incorporated communities located at or beyond 60 degrees south latitude – only research stations/posts on Antarctica. By the way, do you say “above” 60 degrees in the Southern Hemisphere or “below” 60 degrees? 


Punta Arenas, Chile – Source :

 That being said, there are three good-sized cities which are located above (or below) 50 degrees south latitude. They are, in order of population:

  1. Punta Arenas, Chile: 127,454 (2012)
  2. Rio Gallegos, Argentina: 97,742 (2010)
  3. Ushuala, Argentina: 56,956 (2010) 


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2 Responses to World’s largest cities at/beyond 60 degrees south latitude

  1. I would recommend you say “beyond” or “greater/higher than” a latitude. “Above” and “below” in this context take their meaning only from the Northern Hemisphere convention of putting the North Pole on or even beyond the edge of a paper map as laid on a table, farthest from the person seated. The wording is placed so the seated person can read it right-side up. The Industrial Revolution, with all its technology that has been used in maps, began in the Northern Hemisphere, by accidents of plate tectonics. I can’t explain why the early cartographers of Northern Europe decided to put the North Pole at the “top” of the paper. Maybe it was because at the time, they knew a lot more about points north, than south. This made maps easier to read, for right-handed people.
    Scientifically, “top” and “bottom” and “above” and “below” refer first to the orientation of an object with respect to the pull of gravity. Combine this with the Northern Hemisphere bias, and we ended up with innocent Northern Hemisphere schoolchildren wondering if the people in Australia were in danger of falling off the Earth.
    Recently I complained a lot about a TV news story which used “top of the world” too many times and with too much headline, referring to the Arctic. I wonder if they’ve been seeing too many Sherwin-Williams paint ads. I did mention that some cartographers in the Southern Hemisphere have taken jabs at this bias by making perfectly good maps with the South Pole at the top.
    I urge that we choose our words to not use a Northern Hemisphere bias.


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