Our planet Earth – the only planet in the solar system to sustain life was formed approximately 4.54 billion years ago and the life appeared on the surface within the first billion years. Although, we spend all our life on the surface of blue planet we know very little about it: such as, the Earth is not a perfect sphere, rather it’s an oblate spheroid. So, here I have come up with some interesting facts about earth.
2. Treks around the sun
Let’s suppose we all are passengers on Earth which is a giant spaceship. This means we all are trekking around the sun at a mean velocity of 66,600 mph (107,182 km/h). We could be actually spinning through space at just over 1,000 miles per hour. How does that sound?
Source: wikipedia, image: flickr
3. Not a sphere
Earth is not a perfect sphere is another interesting fact. As the Earth spins, the gravity points toward the center of our planet and a centrifugal force pushes outward. However, the gravity acts perpendicular to the axis of Earth, and, the Earth’s axis is tilted, and the centrifugal force at the equator is not exactly opposite to gravity. This imbalance accumulates at the equator, where gravity pushes extra masses of water and earth into a bulge.
4. Super active eruption
Although Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has a reputation of being a frequently erupting volcano, it’s still not Earth’s most active volcano. “The Stromboli Volcano” in the west coast of southern Italy is the most active erupter. It has been erupting continuously for over 2,000 years, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It has earned the title – “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean”.
Source: wikipedia, image: wikimedia.org
5. Giant trees
When it comes to thinking about giant life forms, usually whales and elephants come to mind. But what about the trees. The General Sherman giant sequoia is the largest known stem tree on the earth. The trunk of the tree contains around 52,500 cubic feet i.e. 1,486.6 cubic meters of material.
Source: wikipedia, image: wikimedia.org
6. Driest spot
The Atacama Desert of Chile and Peru is the driest spot on Earth. In the center of this desert, there are places where rain has never ever been recorded.
7. Weird Aurora
The atmosphere is responsible for auroras that occur when solar wind particles hit atoms in the upper atmosphere of the Earth, thereby creating beautiful views of light. Red and blue auroras are created by the excitation of nitrogen atoms, whereas green auroras and brownish-red auroras are from the excitation of oxygen.
8. Cosmic dust is not so special
Every day our planet Earth is showered with dusts from space. On a daily basis, around 100 tons of interplanetary material usually in the form of dusts drifts down to the Earth’s surface. However, the tiniest particles are released by comets as their ices vaporize near the sun.
9. Earth dumps in space
There are around 22,000 man-made objects orbiting the Earth that are nearly 10 cm or even large. Around 5% of it comprises of functioning satellites and 8% of it comprises of sent rockets whereas the rest 87% of it comprises of fragments and inactive satellites.
Source: bbc.com, image:
10. The Core
Another interesting fact about earth is that 99% of earth’s gold lies in the core which is enough to form a 1.5 foot coat around the surface of the earth. The temp of earth’s core is as hot as the surface of the sun i.e. 5500 C/9900 F. A solid Iron ball around 1500 miles wide sits at the center of the earth and the pressure is so high that the iron cannot melt.
Source: wikipedia, image: ddmcdn.com
11. Weird gravity
Gravity is not the same at every place on the earth’s surface. Yes, you read that right. Hudson Bay in Canada has lesser gravity than other regions on the planet. All thanks to retreating glaciers on the surface and swirling magma deep down in the core due to which there is less land mass in that part of the planet and hence lesser gravity.
Source: howstuffworks.com, image: wikimedia.org
12. Creeping Magnetic Pole
Earth’s North Pole is moving (not the geographic axis around which earth spins). The magnetic North Pole is moving 10 miles per year northwards. Ultimately, our magnetic poles will be reversed but that’s an event thousands of years away.
13. Moon quakes
Just like earth has earthquakes moon also experiences moon quakes. Although earthquakes are no fun, moon quakes are are just a lunar equivalent of an earthquake and comparatively a lot weaker. They can actually make a difference in the tides on the earth.
Source: science.nasa.gov, image: wikimedia.org
14. Longest mountain range
The longest mountain range on Earth is actually underwater. It is called the mid ocean ridge system. It stretches for 80,000 km all around the world and is nearly 20 times longer than the longest range on the surface, the Andes Mountains. Not only that, the whole thing is completely volcanic.
15. Exploding lakes
If you think volcanoes are the only things that explode you might be up for a surprise. On earth even Lakes erupt. Africa, the borders of Cameroon, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are home to a number of lakes that sit on top of volcanic earth resulting in extensive pockets of deadly gas being trapped underneath them. If they were to explode they would suffocate any passersby.
Source: science.howstuffworks.com, image: wikimedia.org
16. Largest living structures on Earth
Build up from millions of tiny polyps, coral reefs are the largest living structures on the planet Earth. And when we say large we mean visible from space large! They also hold the highest density of life on earth, even more than rainforests.
17. Journey to the center of the earth
If we were to drill a tunnel straight through the Earth and dive in, in about 42 minutes we would be on the other side and if we don’t grab something to hold on, we will fall back and have a round-trip of 84.5 minutes. The only buzz kill apart from the near impossible task of digging up the earth is that the earth’s core is as hot as the sun, so good luck on your journey.
Source: hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu, image: wikimedia.org
18. Oceans of Gold
The oceans cover around 70 percent of Earth’s surface, yet humans have explored just 5 percent of it. These oceans hold over 20 million tons of gold. But it is so dilute that a liter of seawater contains approximately 13 billionths of a gram of gold. If we could get all of it, then each person on Earth could have 9 pounds of gold. Damn it, mankind’s single goal should now be to get all that metal.
19. Let’s rewrite Earth’s history
If Earth’s history was to be squeezed into 24 hours, life would’ve appeared on this palnet at 4 am, plants at 10:24 pm, dinosaur would have bid goodbye at 11:41 pm and human would’ve took over at 11:58:43 pm.