Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Filled Under:

interesting facts about earth

We may live in different houses, but we all share a common space which is considered to be the entire humanity’s home. We are talking about Earth, the only place in the universe where human life is possible.

It is true that we are all moving towards seeking planets from neighboring solar system, and galaxies but for now, the Blue Planet is the only planetary body in the universe that can sustainhuman life.

We’ve all been living on Earth since day 1, but how much do you really know about the Earth? We are all caught up by the bustle and hustle of modern day life that we forget to take the time to truly appreciate our home planet.

Earth at Night

Earth at Night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


1. The Earth- What’s in a Name?

Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Neptune. Notice how all planets of the Milky Way are named after Gods and Goddesses of Greek and Roman Mythology?
The word, Earth has Old Saxon and Germanic origins. It features an Indo-European base, “er” which in turn resulted in the natural formation of the words ertho and erde in Germanic, aarde in Dutch, and earth in English.
Nobody really knows as to who came up with the name, Earth as most ancient civilizations ultimately refer to the land and soil as Earth, the planet where all humans live in. This is one of the many Earth facts which will remain hidden or unanswered for now.
2. The Earth is Alive?
The earth isn’t just a place where living things can survive and thrive as it is postulated to be a giant living organism itself. The Gaia Hypothesis claims that the Earth is an organic system which has the ability to self-regulate in order to maintain life as we know it.
Studies are underway to prove that there truly is a system which connects the biological and physical processes that transpire among living creatures that inhabit the Earth. And with all the advancements in the field of Earth Science, we are closer to finding out if the Earth is actually a sentient, self-regulating living organism.
3. The Earth’s Scar
Andes from space
Andes from space (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Andes is popular to millions as it is known to be the largest and longest mountain range on Earth.
It is located along the Western part of South America featuring a length of about 4,300 miles and a width of 420 miles. It spans through seven counties namely Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador.

It is quite impressive, but it is actually the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, majority of which is found underwater, that is the largest and longest on Earth. In fact, it is considered to be the largest geological feature of planet Earth, which is 6,200 miles long.
4. Explosive Fact
Another amazing feature of the Earth is that it has almost 500 volcanoes worldwide. About 80% of the Earth, that which is found above and below the surface, are made of volcanic soil.
5. Theia, The Twin
One of the most interesting facts about Earth is that it used to have a twin planet, named Theia. Some 4.5 billion years ago, a planetary body which was postulated to be large as the planet Mars, shared the same orbit with Earth.
A collision between Earth and Theia transpired soon after, which resulted in the formation of the Moon.
6. Earth, ever-moving
Global plate motion
Global plate motion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A supercontinent will be formed 25 million years from now. This is due to the constant movement of the tectonic plates. The rate of movement differs from one continent to another. In the Pacific, the plates move faster at 4cm per year, while the rate of movement in the North Atlantic is at 1cm annually.
7. The History of Pollution
It was between the late 18th century and early 19th century that the Industrial Revolution boomed and flourished throughout developing countries across the globe.
Not only did it bring economic change to the scene, but environmental changes as well. More air, water, and land pollutants were introduced to nature. Natural resources started to be abused and depleted during this period, which ultimately resulted in the degradation of the environment in astronomical levels.
What can we do about it? It all starts with education – it is through understanding of the interesting facts about Earth’s remarkable qualities that we can encourage conservation and help us enjoy its wonders for generations to come.
8. The Color of Earth
The Earth is popularly dubbed as the Blue Planet. Astronauts who first went to space describe the entirety of Earth as blue. This is due to the fact that 71% of the planet is covered by bodies if water.
Earth
Blue Planet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
9. The Earth is Hot
Aside from the sun as Earth’s main source of heat energy, humans could theoretically survive without the sun’s heat as the planet’s inner core is hot enough to supply energy to its inhabitants.
It is estimated that the core temperature is between 5,000 to 7,000 degrees Celsius. It is just as hot as the sun’s surface too!
10. Unique Tectonics
Planet Earth is the only planet of the Milky Way which features tectonic plates.
11. Space Dust
Leonid Meteor Shower
Leonid Meteor Shower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are approximately 30,000 space particles and dust that enter the Earth’s atmosphere annually. Fortunately, the majority of this debris burns up when it enters the earth’s atmosphere, resulting in shooting stars instead of giant craters.
12. The Earth isn’t Round
The accurate description of the Earth’s figure is oblate spheroid. This means that it is spherical, but also flattened from its two opposite poles.
The rotating motion of the earth results in centrifugal force, which in turn causes the planet to retain its disk-shaped figure.
13. Water Matters
Although water has been detected in neighboring planets, it is only on Earth that water can be found across three states of matter namely solid, water, and air.
14. Longer Days Ahead
We have approximately 24 hours in a day, but it is expected that after about 250 million years, a day will last 1.5 hours longer due to the slower rotation of the Earth around its axis.
15. The Brightest of them All
Although it is known that Venus is the brightest celestial body in the sky, Earth is comparatively brighter when observed from outer space. The factor which makes our planet the brightest among all the planets of the Milky Way is water.
16. The Earth is Moving
Pressure being released from the inner core and the constantly moving tectonic plates result in almost 1 million earthquakes per year; majority of which are never felt or recorded even by seismometers.
17. The Speed of Light
Sunset
Sunset – light 8 minutes 20 seconds away (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It takes exactly about 8 minutes and 20 seconds for sunlight to reach the earth. This means that the heat and light that we see and feel on a warm, sunny day is energy emitted by the sun from 8 minutes past.
18. Speeds of Earth
The Earth’s surface rotates on its axis at 1,000 miles per hour. Consequently, the planet travels through space at 66,700 miles per hour. But how come we do not feel that our planet is moving at a dizzying rate?
This is due to the fact that the Earth is rotating at a constant speed and is partly due to the gravitational pull of Earth.
19. Four Seasons
The occurrence of 4 seasons is not in any way related to the distance of the Earth from the Sun, but rather due to the way the planet is tilted on its axis. The obliquity or Earth’s tilt is currently at 23.4 degrees and is expected to change slightly over time.
20. First Photo Opportunity
From an altitude of 65 miles, the first photo of the Earth from space was taken using a 35-millimeter motion picture camera that was carried by Sputnik 2. It was in 1946 that the first discernible photo was made possible by a camera developed by the engineer, Clyde Holliday.
The first full face and colored portrait of Earth was later taken from the DODGE satellite in 1967.
21. Earth’s Core
Cutaway of the Earth
Cutaway of the Earth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The core of the Earth can be found 3,700 miles down towards its center. The inner core is made up of a solid iron-nickel allow.
22. Gravity Difference
The pull of gravity differs all over the globe, depending on your distance from the earth’s core.
This means that due to the gravitational pull, you are technically lighter or heavier in certain locations in the globe, though you’ll never feel it.
23. Water Percentages
97% of water on Earth can be found in the oceans, while only 3% of water can be found in fresh water reservoirs and fresh water supply.
24. A satellite and Companions
The Moon is not the only celestial body that rotates around our planet. Asteroids 3753 Cruithne and 2002 AA29 are also known to orbit the planet as well.
25. Our only home
The Earth and Moon From Mars
The Earth and Moon From Mars (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Although space missions are being deployed in outer space for the past few decades, these programs are primarily programmed to look for extraterrestrial life and space research. There are still no possibilities of life even with the nearest planetary body, Mars.
For now, the Earth is the only habitable place in the Universe.