Last updated on May 3rd, 2019
Earth is a beautiful place to live and explore. It has plenty of life-supporting features and is constantly changing/evolving. Several scientists and geologist have explored Earth and other planets. Here we have compiled a list of some interesting facts about Earth that will help you learn more about our mother planet. Let’s get started!
About Earth’s formation, location, speed, composition, the existence of life
1. Earth is the third planet from the Sun and is the largest of the four terrestrial planets namely Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars (Order of the planets from the Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto (the dwarf planet)).
2. The existence of water in the liquid phase on Earth is due to the temperature span that exists on the Earth: 0 – 100 degree Celsius. Water boils at 100 degree Celsius, thus converting it into gas and making it unusable for consumption by living beings including humans, animals, and birds, etc.
3. Earth is the only place in the solar system where water can be present in all the three states – solid, liquid and gas.
4. We are all traveling around the Sun at an average velocity of 107,182 kilometers per hour. And at the same time, we are also spinning with an enormous speed – that could be 1000 miles per hour depending on your position on Earth.
5. Earth receives between 100 and 300 metric ton of cosmic dust (the dust which exists in outer space, as well as all over planet Earth) every day (data collected from satellite observations.) However, some other estimates suggest that the incoming dust could be as low as 5 metric ton per day.
6. Despite the fact that the earth is made up of more than 70% of water, do not be surprised to learn that water accounts for less than 1% of Earth’s mass.
7. In size, Earth is slightly larger than Venus.
8. Earth formed some 4.54 billion years ago.
9. The force of gravity in the Hudson Bay region of Canada is less than that on the rest of the planet. There are various theories that scientists associate with this effect but no one is sure as to why this is the case.
10. It is estimated that life came to existence on Earth some 4.1 billion years ago.
11. It is also interesting to note that more than 95% of Earth’s ocean are still unexplored.
Facts about Earth and the Moon
12. Tides in oceans on Earth happen due to the force of gravitation between the Earth and the moon. Moon pulls up water in oceans and even in lakes, due to its gravitational force.
13. Earth has just one moon whereas Jupiter has 67 moons.
14. The moon (radius – 1,738 kilometer) is the fifth largest moon in the Solar System after Ganymede (orbits: Jupiter), Titan (orbits: Saturn), Callisto (orbits: Jupiter), and Io (orbits: Jupiter).
15. The Moon reflects Sun’s light on the Earth when the Sun is on the other side of the Earth meaning when there is the night on one side of the planet.
16. The same side of the moon is always facing the Earth, meaning the moon is in synchronous rotation with the Earth.
17. Moon is Earth’s only permanent natural satellite. (FYI – there are 181 known natural moons that are orbiting the full-size and dwarf planets in our solar system)
18. Moon, earth’s natural satellite, is thought to have been formed from Earth after the impact of a Mars-sized object, named Theia.
Extinction of species, the naming of Earth, length of day, magnetic field, the temperature at the core, density
19. It is a fascinating fact to note here that 99% of all species that ever existed on the Earth are now extinct.
20. Earth is the only known planet that supports life. However, attempts are underway to help life survive on other planets like Mars.
21. It is also the only planet not to be named after a Greek or Roman god. Jupiter is named after the king of Roman gods and Uranus is named after the Greek god of the sky. The name Earth comes from English/German, which means the Ground.
22. The speed of rotation of Earth is gradually slowing down; meaning that in some 140 million years from now, the length of a day on Earth would be 25 hours.
23. Earth was once believed to be the center of the Universe and scientists believed that the Sun and other planets revolved around it. However, this assumption was proved incorrect.
24. Because of the presence of inner Nickel-Iron core, Earth has a strong magnetic field. This magnetic field is also responsible for preventing heavy solar winds from blowing on the Earth and causing damage to various life forms.
25. Earth’s inner core has a temperature between 5400 and 6000 degrees Celsius. Thus, making it hotter than the surface of the Sun (surface temperature – 5500 Celsius).
26. The thickest of all the four layers of the earth is the mantle, which is 2900 kilometers thick. This layer has a consistency of caramel and is composed of a hot mixture of molten rock.
27. The thinnest of all the layers is the crust, which is on an average 30 kilometers deep on an average on the ground.
28. Earth also has the largest natural satellite as compared to any other planet considering the size of Earth and the moon (the Moon is approximately 27% the size of the Earth.)
29. The Earth also has the credit of being the densest planet in the Solar System. It has an average density of 5.51 grams per cubic centimeter.
Tectonic plates, the shape of the earth, bluish appearance, atmosphere, oxygen
30. Earth is the only planet in the solar system that has tectonic plates underneath its surface. These plates are floating on top of the magma inside of the Earth. When these plates collide, earthquakes happen. Movement of these plates is also very important for other geological and life-supporting purposes.
31. The diameter of Earth from the North Pole to the South Pole is shorter than its diameter across the Equator by 43 km. Thus, Earth is not a perfect sphere and this difference in the diameter is the results of Earth’s rotation.
33. Earth is also known as the “Blue Planet” because of its bluish appearance from the outer space. Almost 70% of Earth’s surface is covered with water.
34. There are five layers in Earth’s atmosphere including – the Troposphere, the Stratosphere, the Mesosphere, the Thermosphere, and the Exosphere. Earth’s atmosphere is the thickest from ground level up to a height of 50 km and extends up to 10,000 km.
35. Airplanes fly at a maximum altitude of 60,000 feet which is almost 18.288 km.
36. The pressure and density go on decreasing as we move farther away from the Earth’s surface and travel towards space.
37. The first 11 km from the Earth’s surface has 75% of the atmosphere.
38. The last layer of the Earth’s atmosphere – the Exosphere – extends from 700 km above mean sea level to 10,000 km in outer space.
39. Did you ever wonder why we have a leap year every four years? This is because a year on earth is not exactly 365 days but it is 365.2564 days. This extra 0.2564 day is adjusted with an extra day (leap day) in the month of February every four years.
40. Earth is the only planet that contains 21% oxygen in its atmosphere and liquid water on its surface.
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