The third planet from the sun and the only one inhabited by a multitude of life forms, Planet Earth takes its name “ertha” from Old English, and “erda” from Anglo Saxon. Both words translate into the word ground or soil. As the only planet that did not receive the name of a Roman God or Goddess, Earth was once believed to be the center of the universe around which all other stellar objects revolved. Eventually, scientists found that Earth was not the center of the universe, nor was it flat.
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10 Interesting Facts about Planet Earth
It Is Not Round
With a shape that is a little more ovoid than circular, centrifugal force pulls the earth out, slightly, around the equator.
Why Does It Spin?
Formed at the birth of the Sun, from dust and gas spun into a disc, the Sun became the center of the mass. Still rotating from that ancient event, Planet Earth’s spin is so accurate that we know a hundred years from now that the spin will be two milliseconds longer than it is today, barring an event that disrupts the Earth’s revolution in its normal pattern.
Benefits of Planet Earth’s Spin
The twenty four-hour rotation of Earth, along with the gravitational pull of the moon and its effects on the oceans, is what gives us climate differences across the globe, seasons and the ability for life to thrive beneath the canopy of Earth’s atmosphere.
Planet Earth’s Atmosphere
The composition of Earth’s atmosphere is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, .93% argon, and .03% carbon dioxide. Divided into five layers, the atmosphere is measured in layers by kilometers. The Troposphere starts at ground level and continues to 13km (eight miles). The next layer is the Ozone layer that encompasses the atmosphere from 13-25km (8-15.5 miles), the Stratosphere is from 25-50 km (15.5 to 31 miles) from Earth and the Mesosphere is from 50-75km (31 to 46.6 miles) for the Earth’s surface.
At the height of the atmosphere is the Thermosphere, which encompasses the sky form 75-150km (46.6 to 93.2 miles.) Because of this protective layering, the Earth is protected from UV rays, and solar radiation. Without the atmosphere, we would not be able to survive.
Planet Earth’s Composition
Earth is composed of 32 % iron, 30% oxygen, 15 % silicon, 14 % magnesium, 3% sulfur, 2% nickel, 1.5 % calcium, and 1.4 % aluminum with the remainder made up of various other elements.
Planet Earth’s Layers
Earth has four layers and the crust. The crust makes up the outer layer then there is the upper mantel and mantel that make up about 84 % of the Earth’s mass. Next is the outer core that makes up another 34 % of the Earth’s mass. Though smaller than the mantel, the outer core is liquid iron and nickel, and it is very dense. The Earth’s inner core is made of the same materials as the outer core, but it is solid instead of liquid.
The Fifth Largest Planet in the Solar System
4.6 billion years old, the Earth is the fifth largest planet in our solar system. It is the only planet in our solar system where life is in abundance. The events that came together to form our planet formed a perfect environment for life.
The Mariana Trench is the deepest point on Earth
We have touched to farthest reaches of the atmosphere and the center of the Earth. However, the lowest place on Earth is under the ocean. There are locations such as the Death Valley that fall below sea level on land, but the Mariana Trench is the deepest point in the ocean. At 35,813 feet below sea level, it is over 5,000 feet deeper in the ocean than the peak of Mt. Everest is above land.
The Highest Point on Earth is Mt. Everest
At 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) above sea level, Mount Everest is a historical location where men pit their determination against the tallest mountain in the world. In Nepal, China, Mount Everest is a legendary locale on planet Earth. It is famous not only for its height, but also for lighting the fire in the heart of people who over time have wanted to go and conquer the biggest, toughest mountain on Earth.
The Oceans of the Earth
Covering 70% of the Earth’s surface, many places in our oceans have never been explored. Jacque Cousteau and other mariners have made a valiant effort to map and explore our oceans and their life forms, but man has not yet discovered all the wonders that our oceans hold.
Planet Earth – Random Interesting Facts
Our planet holds wonders that we still find, daily. With ten million plant and animal species waiting to be discovered, as well as oceans that we have not seen the bottom of, the Earth continues to intrigue explorers with its marvels. Along with the undiscovered species are many other naturally formed locations that are iconic landmarks of our planet.
- If you stand on the equator, you will be spinning with the Earth at 1,000 miles per hour, but if you go to either of the poles, you will be standing still. Either way, you will still be traveling through space at a mind-boggling 67,000 miles per hour.
- The coldest known temperature on Earth was recorded at Antarctica’s Vostok station where the temperature was -128.6 degrees Fahrenheit or -89.2 degrees centigrade.
- The hottest recorded temperature was in Libya in 1922. The temperature was 136 degrees Fahrenheit or 57.8 degrees centigrade.
- Two moons? Scientists believe that we had two at one time.
- Walking rocks? One of the funny interesting facts about Earth, are occurrences in Death Valley where rocks that weigh hundreds of pounds slide across the desert floor.
- The longest mountain range in the world is not on land; it is underwater. The mid ocean ridge system wraps around the world and is an impressive 80,000 km (49,700 miles) long. That is twenty times longer than the Andes mountain range, which is the longest mountain range on land.
- Quakes are not limited to Earth. Moonquakes can affect the tides on Earth.
- The most active volcano on Earth is the Stromboli volcano in Southern Italy. With continual eruptions for 2,000 years, it has been nicknamed the “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean” and is a landmark of the area.
- The largest living structures on earth are coral reefs and the largest of these is Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Constructed of tiny polyps, they form large colonies in our oceans. They are so vast that they can easily be seen from space, and they hold the highest density of life on Earth, followed closely by the abundant life of our rainforests.
- Every day, over 100 tons of space debris, usually in the form of ice, falls to the Earth’s surface, most of which comes from comets that have been melted by the sun.
- The longest river in the world is the Nile. It spans 6696 km (4,160 miles) and crosses eleven countries, supplying water to Tanzania, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.
Our Planet Earth
These are only a few of the most interesting facts of Planet Earth. You can delve deeper and learn of the Seven Wonders of the World and interesting facts of man’s creations across the globe. There are the many rivers, lakes, deserts, mountain ranges, gulfs, seas and oceans across the face of Planet Earth that are worth learning about.
Planet Earth has changed over its 4.6 billion year lifespan. Man, on the other hand, has barely touched on the interesting facts of the world around us, and we know even less about what is beyond the stars. Forever searching our surroundings, where we came, where earth came from and its interestingly miraculous ability to support the abundance of life is a lifetime journey on the road to knowledge.