People are right to be fascinated by the Earth – it’s our home and makes human existence possible! This is why scientists dedicate so much time and energy on exposing the wonders of Earth. Here’s a handful of interesting facts about Earth that’ve been discovered…
- Earth is the third planet from the Sun.
- It’s composed of iron, magnesium, oxygen, and silicon.
- It has a mass of 5.9×1024 kg and a diameter of 12,000 km. It’s also roughly 150 million km from the Sun.
- It has a core (composed primarily of nickel) whose temperatures can reach an incredible 6,000 degrees celsius!
- The other layers of Earth are the crust (40km deep), upper mantle (400km deep), and the lower mantle (2700 km deep). The core consists of two layers, namely: the outer core (5150 km deep) and the inner core (6378 km deep).
There’s also the transition region at 650 km and the D” layer at 2890 km in depth.
- Planet Earth as a physical object is 4.5 billion years old.
- However, it’s surface as we know it today is believed to be 500 million years old.
Eye-opening Earth facts
- 71% of the Earth’s surface is underwater.
- Only 1% of the water on our planet is fresh. 97% is salted. 2% of the remaining freshwater is frozen. That leaves just 1% for humans to consume.
- Earth is the only planet that allows water to take and maintain liquid form. Liquid water is necessary for conventional life to thrive. This is part of the reason why Earth is the only object in the solar system that is able to support life.
- 30% of all the land area on Earth is occupied by Asia, the same continent that is home to 60% of all the people in the world.
- Various biological processes are responsible for the existence of oxygen on Earth. Those biological processes happen because there is life here. Because oxygen is such a reactive gas, it should naturally combine with other elements. The presence of free oxygen in the atmosphere can be attributed to the presence of life on Earth.
- The Earth’s atmosphere consists of nitrogen (77%) and oxygen (21%).
Strange Earth facts…
- The Earth isn’t the perfect sphere you might think it is. Our planet actually bulges at the equator while flattening at the north and south poles.
- Most people know that Earth is rotating on its axis and think that it takes 24 hours for the earth to complete its rotation. But it actually takes four minutes less (23hrs, 56mins, 4sec).
- If that wasn’t enough, the planet also takes 365.2564 days to rotate around the Sun. That extra quarter adds up and eventually results in a leap year.
- The planet is not still. It is actually moving through space at 107,000 km per hour. But you can’t feel that motion on Earth.
- The Earth’s rotation is slowing. This is happening at a rate of 17 milliseconds every few centuries. So the deceleration is imperceptible.
- Compared to its size, the Earth has the largest natural satellite (the Moon) in the Milky Way.
- People once thought that the Earth was the centre of the universe. This perception was informed by the way the heavenly bodies appeared to move when observed from the Earth’s surface.