Snowfall Near the Equator, Papua New Guinea – February 5th, 2009
Papua New Guinea is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands (the western portion of the island is a part of Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua).
Papua New Guinea, with an area of about 462,840 km2 (178,704 sq mi), is comparable in size to Sweden, and somewhat larger than the US state of California.
The country’s geography is very diverse and, in places, extremely rugged. A spine of mountains runs the length of the island of New Guinea, forming a populous highlands region.
Papua New Guinea is one of the few regions close to the equator that experience snowfall, which occurs in the most elevated parts of the mainland. Some snow is visible on the peaks of the mountain range running down the middle of the island.
Dense tropical rainforests, with a lush green color, can be found in the lowland and coastal areas, as well as very large wetland areas surrounding the Sepik and Fly rivers.
Papua New Guinea is surrounded by coral reefs, some of which can be noted in the lower righthand corner.
The country is situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, at the point of collision of several tectonic plates. There are a number of active volcanoes and eruptions are frequent. Earthquakes are relatively common, sometimes accompanied by tsunamis.