100 Amazing Facts About Planet Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun and is the largest of the terrestrial planets. Unlike the other planets in the solar system that are named after classic deities the Earth’s name comes from the Anglo-Saxon word erda which means ground or soil. The Earth was formed approximately 4.54 billion years ago and is the only known planet to support life.
Mass: 5,972,190,000,000,000 billion kg
Equatorial Diameter: 12,756 km
Polar Diameter: 12,714 km
Equatorial Circumference: 40,030 km
Known Moons: 1
Notable Moons: The Moon
Orbit Distance: 149,598,262 km (1 AU)
Orbit Period: 365.26 Earth days
Surface Temperature: -88 to 58°C
100 Facts about the Earth :
- The Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing:
This deceleration is happening almost imperceptibly, at approximately 17 milliseconds per hundred years, although the rate at which it occurs is not perfectly uniform. This has the effect of lengthening our days, but it happens so slowly that it could be as much as 140 million years before the length of a day will have increased to 25 hours.
- The Earth was once believed to be the centre of the universe:
Due to the apparent movements of the Sun and planets in relation to their viewpoint, ancient scientists insisted that the Earth remained static, whilst other celestial bodies travelled in circular orbits around it. Eventually, the view that the Sun was at the centre of the universe was postulated by Copernicus, though this is also not the case.
- Earth has a powerful magnetic field:
This phenomenon is caused by the nickel-iron core of the planet, coupled with its rapid rotation. This field protects the Earth from the effects of solar wind.
- There is only one natural satellite of the planet Earth:
As a percentage of the size of the body it orbits, the Moon is the largest satellite of any planet in our solar system. In real terms, however, it is only the fifth largest natural satellite.
- Earth is the only planet not named after a god:
The other seven planets in our solar system are all named after Roman gods or goddesses. Although only Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were named during ancient times, because they were visible to the naked eye, the Roman method of naming planets was retained after the discovery of Uranus and Neptune.
- Of all the planets in our solar system, the Earth has the greatest density:
This varies according to the part of the planet; for example, the metallic core is denser than the crust. The average density of the Earth is approximately 5.52 grams per cubic centimeter.
- 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water:
When astronauts first went into the space, they looked back at the Earth with human eyes for the first time, and called our home the Blue Planet. And it’s no surprise. 70% of our planet is covered with oceans. The remaining 30% is the solid ground, rising above sea level.
- Earth is mostly iron, oxygen and silicon:
If you could separate the Earth out into piles of material, you’d get 32.1 % iron, 30.1% oxygen, 15.1% silicon, and 13.9% magnesium. Of course, most of this iron is actually down at the core of the Earth. If you could actually get down and sample the core, it would be 88% iron. 47% of the Earth’s crust consists of oxygen.
- Earth doesn’t take 24 hours to rotate on its axis:
It’s actually 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds. This is the amount of time it takes for the Earth to completely rotate around its axis; astronomers call this a sidereal day. Now wait a second that means a day is 4 minutes shorter than we think it is. You’d think that time would add up, day by day, and within a few months, day would be night, and night would be day.
- A year on Earth isn’t 365 days:
It’s actually 365.2564 days. It’s this extra .2564 days that creates the need for leap years. That’s why we tack on an extra day in February every year divisible by 4 – 2004, 2008, etc – unless it’s divisible by 100 (1900, 2100, etc)… unless it’s divisible by 400 (1600, 2000, etc).
- Earth has 1 moon and 2 co-orbital satellites:
As you’re probably aware, Earth has 1 moon (The Moon). But did you know there are 2 additional asteroids locked into co-orbital orbits with Earth? They’re called 3753 Cruithne and 2002 AA29. We won’t go into too much detail about the Moon, I’m sure you’ve heard all about it. 3753 Cruithne is 5 km across, and sometimes called Earth’s second moon. It doesn’t actually orbit the Earth, but has a synchronized orbit with our home planet. It has an orbit that makes it look like it’s following the Earth in orbit, but it’s actually following its own, distinct path around the Sun.
12. The Earth is not actually round in shape; in fact it is geoid :
This simply means that the rounded shape has a slight bulge towards the equator. So what causes this geoid shape? This happens solely because the rotation of the Earth which causes the bulge around the equator.
- Only 3% water of the earth is fresh, rest 97% salted:
Of that 3%, over 2% is frozen in ice sheets and glaciers. Means less
than 1% fresh water is found in lakes, rivers and underground.
- Asia Continent is covered 30% of the total earth land area, but represent 60% of the world’s population.
- Each winter there are about 1 septillion (1, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000 or a trillion trillion) snow crystals that drop from the sky.
- The international space station was the most expensive object ever constructed ($150 billion!)
- A photo of the earth has been taken from a distance of 3.7 billion miles.
- The hardiest animal in existence is a tardigrade, and one can exist in a vacuum for ten days. (Fun fact: tardigrades are also referred to as water bears or moss piglets!)
- China’s air pollution is visible from space, but the Great Wall is not.
- 100 tons of small meteorites enter the atmosphere every day.
- There are 8.6 million lightning strikes per day.
- Antarctica has as much ice as the Atlantic Ocean has water.
- 90% of the rubbish in the ocean is plastic.
- Only 8-12 humans are killed per year by sharks, but
- million sharks are killed per year by humans to harvest their fins.
- 90% of all volcanic activity occurs in the ocean.
- 99% of the earth’s gold lies in the core.
- The continents move about 2 cm every year.
- 200,000 people are born every day.
- 2 people die every second.
- Earth is the only planet on which water can exist in liquid form on the surface.
- Antarctica is the highest, driest, and coldest continent on Earth.
- The dormant volcano Mauna Kea (on the Big Island of Hawaii) could be considered the tallest mountain in the world. If you measure it from its base in the Hawaiian Trough (3,300 fathoms deep) to its summit of 13,796 feet, it reaches a height of 33,476 feet.
- The world’s deadliest recorded earthquake occurred in 1557 in central China, more than 830,000 people were killed.
- The World’s largest hot desert is the Sahara in North Africa, at over 9,000,000 km², it is almost as large as the United States.
- Earth travels through space at 66,700 miles per hour.
- Mount Everest 8850 meter (29035 ft) Nepal/China is the tallest mountain.
- The sunrays reached at the earth in 8 minutes & 3 seconds.
- Only 11 percent of the earth’s surface is used to grow food.
- The coldest temperature ever measured on Earth was
-129 Fahrenheit (-89 Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica, on July
- About 70% of the world’s fresh water is stored as glacial ice.
- The warmest sea in the world is the Red Sea, where temperatures range from 68 degrees to 87.8 degrees F depending upon which part you measure.
- Angel Falls in Venezuela is the world’s highest waterfall, the water of Falls drops 3,212 feet (979 meters).
- The total surface area of the Earth is 197 million square miles.
- El Azizia in Libya recorded a temperature of 136 degrees Fahrenheit (57.8 Celsius) on Sept. 13, 1922 – the hottest ever measured.
- A 1960 Chilean earthquake was the strongest earthquake in recent times, which occurred off the coast, had a magnitude of 9.6 and broke a fault more than 1000 miles (1600 kilometers) long.
- The lowest dry point on earth is the Dead Sea in the Middle East is about 1300 feet (400 meters) below sea level.
- The Largest Ocean of the World is the Pacific Ocean (155,557,000 sq km), It covers nearly one-third of the Earth’s surface.
- The distance from the surface of Earth to the center is about 3,963 miles (6,378 kilometers).
- The Earth is the densest major body in the solar system.
- The age of the earth is loudly proclaimed is around 4.6 billion years old
by the scientific establishment of evolution believers and the mass media.
- Baikal Lake in Russian Fed. is the deepest lake (5315 ft) in the world.
- Lightning does not always create thunder. In April 1885, five lightning bolts struck the Washington Monument during a thunderstorm, yet no thunder was heard.
- The Sarawak Chamber in Malaysia is the largest cave in the world is 2300 feet (701 meters) long, 1300 feet (400 meters) wide, and more than 230 feet (70 meters) high.
- The Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii is the largest volcano on Earth. It rises more than 50,000 feet (9.5 miles or 15.2 kilometers) above its base, which sits under the surface of the sea.
- Due to gravitational effects, you weigh slightly less when the moon is directly overhead.
- One-tenth of the Earth’s surface is always under the cover of ice. And almost 90 per cent of that ice is to be found in the continent of Antarctica.
- The coldest seas are found near the poles such as the Greenland, Barents, Beaufort, Kara, Laptev & East Siberian Seas found near the north pole & Weddell & Ross Seas found in the south poles. The Baltic Sea is also considered one of the coldest seas.
- The Nile River in Africa is the longest river (6,825 kilometers) of the earth.
- Caspian Sea, Asia-Europe is the major lake (371,000 sq km) in the world.
- Depending upon the amount of salt in the water, sea water freezes at about 28 degrees F.
- The most dangerous animal in the world is the common housefly. Because of their habits of visiting animal waste, they transmit more diseases than any other animal.
- The Peregrine Falcon around 200mph (320 km/h) is the fastest bird on the planet, the top speed recorded is 242.3mph (390 km/h).
- The largest eggs in the world are laid by a shark.
- The deepest hole ever made by humans is in Kola Peninsula in Russia, was completed in 1989, creating a hole 12,262 meters (7.6 miles) deep.
- Total fertility rate of the world is 2.59 children born/woman.
- An African woman’s lifetime risk of dying from pregnancy related causes is one in 16, in Asia, its one in 65. In Europe, its one in 1,400.
- There are roughly 4,000 known minerals, although only about 200 are of major importance.
- About 400 billion gallons water is used worldwide each day.
- Aluminum cans take 500 years to break down.
- Shanghai, China is the largest city by population (13.3 million) in the world.
- English is the second most spoken language (Native speakers 512 million) & the first is Chinese Mandarin (more then 1 billion speakers).
- The flower with the world’s largest bloom is the Rafflesia arnoldii. This rare flower is found in the rainforests of Indonesia. It can grow to be 3 feet across and weigh up to 15 pounds.
- At least 1,000 million grams, or roughly 1,000 tons of material (dust) enters the atmosphere every year and makes its way to Earths surface.
- The gravity on Mars is 38% of that found on Earth. So a 100 pounds person on Earth would weigh 38 pounds on Mars.
- The world’s population has been increased 3.1 billion in last 40 years.
- Global Positioning System (GPS) is the only system today that can show your exact position on the Earth anytime, in any weather, no matter where you are!
- The water that falls on a single acre of land during one inch of rainfall, it would weigh 113 tons that is 226,000 pounds.
- Plastics take 500 years to break down.
- Earth is the fifth largest planet in the Solar System.
- The Diameter of the Earth is 12,756 km (7,926 miles)
- The earth’s orbital speed is 29.8 km per second (66,660 mi/hr)
- Earth has an average surface temperature of 13°C (55.4°F)
- The greenhouse effect raises Earth’s temperature 35°C(95°F)
- Earth’s distance from the Sun – Min. 146 million km (91million miles) Max. 152 million km (94.5 million miles).
- Earths main tectonic plates: African plate, Antarctic plate, Indo-Australian Plate, Eurasian Plate, North American Plate, South American Plate, and the Pacific Plate.
- Earth has several layers with unique chemical and seismic properties: Crust (0-40 km), upper mantle (40-400 km), transition region (400-650 km), lower mantle (650-2700 km), D layer (2700-2890 km), outer core (2890-5150 km), and the inner core (5150-6378 km) from the surface.
- The magnetic poles of the Earth gradually flip flop about every 200,000 to 300,000 years.
- The deepest spot on Earth is under the ocean in the Mariana Trench at 35,813 feet below sea level.
- From a distance, Earth would be the brightest of the planets. This is because sunlight is reflected off the planet’s water.
- Earth is the only planet in the Solar System known to be geologically active, with Earthquakes and volcanoes forming the landscape, replenishing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and erasing impact craters from meteors.
- Believe it or not, most of the Earth’s deserts are not composed entirely of sand. Much, about 85% of them, are rocks and gravel. The largest, the Sahara, fills about 1/3 of Africa (and it is growing constantly) which would nearly fill the continental United States.
- The Andes Mountain range in South America is 4,525 miles long and ranks, as the world’s longest. Second Longest: The Rockies; Third: Himalayas; Fourth: The Great Dividing Range in Australia; Fifth: Trans-Antarctic Mountains. For every
- feet you climb up a mountain, the temperature drops 3-1/2 degrees.
- The Earth’s equatorial circumference (40,075 km) is greater than its polar circumference (40,008 km)
- More than 80% of the earth’s surface is volcanic.
- Ten percent of the earth’s surface is covered by ice.
- One fifth of land surface is covered by deserts
- Every hour, the Earth’s oceans are evaporating 50 cubic kilometers of water into the air (13 trillion gallons).
- The Earth releases about 1 million a year, almost all are never even registered.
- The temperature of the earth’s interior increases by 1 degree every 60 feet down.
1OO. Plate tectonics keep the planet comfortable
Earth is the only planet in the Solar System with plate tectonics. The outer crust of the Earth is broken up into regions known as tectonic plates. These are floating on top of the magma interior of the Earth and can move against one another. When two plates collide, one plate can go underneath another.
This process is very important. When microscopic plants in the ocean die, they fall to the bottom of the ocean. Over long periods of time, the remnants of this life, rich in carbon, are carried back into the interior of the Earth and recycled. This pulls carbon out of the atmosphere, which
makes sure we don’t get a runaway greenhouse effect, like what happened on Venus.
Without the plate tectonics, there’d be no way to recycle this carbon, and the Earth would overheat.
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