60 Interesting Facts About Earth

  1. Earth, the third planet of the solar system, is the only known place in the whole universe that contains life.
  2. According to an estimate, billions of Earth-like planets are in the universe. These are rocky planets with a size close to the earth, and orbiting in the “habitable zone” of their stars. (Source)
  3. It is a misconception that earth is the only planet in the solar system with a complete solar eclipse. All four gas giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) also experience solar eclipses due to their large moons. (Source)
  4. According to a study, the earth was once purple. It was due to the presence of a molecule known as "retinal" around 2.4 to 3.5 billion years ago. (Source)
  5. The estimated mass of the earth is around six septillion kg (13 septillion lbs.). The mass of the Earth's core is nearly 45% of its total mass. (Source)
  6. Earth completes one orbit around the sun in 365.25 days. The 0.25 extra days is the reason behind leap years.
  7. The estimated age of the earth is 4.54 billion years. Experts believe that life on earth started around 4.1 billion years ago.
  8. Water (oceans, seas, rivers) consists of 71% area of the earth’s surface. More than 96% of this water is in oceans.
  9. Earth is the only planet in the solar system with plenty of water in all three forms (liquid, solid, and gas). (Source)
  10. The oldest material ever found on earth is stardust, which was present in a meteorite that crashed on earth in 1969. This stardust is 7 billion years old, 2.5 billion years older than the sun. (Source)
  11. About one septillion (a trillion trillion) snow crystals drop from the sky every year. The likelihood that two large snow crystals can be identical is virtually zero. (Source)
  12. Water is present around 620 miles (1000 km) beneath the earth’s surface, equal to the amount of water in all the oceans on its surface. This water is significant for volcanic activity. (Source)
  13. Out of the total water on earth, only 2.5% is freshwater. Around 69% of this freshwater is present as ice caps and glaciers (the remaining is in the form of rivers, lakes, etc.). (Source)
    Oceans on earth
    71% of earth's surface is water but 75% of earth's species are on land

  14. According to scientific estimates, there are around 8.7 million species on earth. Nearly 75% of these are on land. (Source)
  15. A more comprehensive study (including the estimated number of bacteria) shows that the total number of species on earth could be more than 2 billion. (Source)
  16. According to fossil records, most animals on earth appeared during the Cambrian period, around 540 million years ago.
  17. According to research, groundwater is the largest active freshwater resource on earth. The total amount of groundwater is equivalent to a 180-meter-deep lake covering the entire earth's surface. (Source)
  18. Earth’s rotation is continuously slowing down due to tidal forces between the earth and the moon. Due to this gradual slow rotation, the day is increasing by 1.4 milliseconds after every 100 years.
  19. The geomagnetic field has been decaying for the last 3,000 years. According to scientific estimates, this can cause a reversal of the earth’s magnetic poles in less than one millennium. It can prove disastrous for artificial satellites and will endanger life on earth. (Source)
  20. The lowest point on the earth’s surface is the Dead Sea (-418 m). The highest point is Mount Everest (8848 m).
  21. According to the latest research, there could be quadrillion (one thousand trillion) tons of diamonds deep inside the earth. But these diamonds are 100 miles below the surface and cannot be extracted with currently available drilling machines and techniques. (Source)
  22. Danakil Depression in Africa is one of the hottest, lowest, and most inhospitable places on earth. It is famous due to several sulfurous hot springs, acid pools, and hot springs. It also contains one of the eight lava lakes in the world. Insects and birds usually die here after drinking the water or inhaling carbon dioxide-rich air. (Source)
  23. Beneath the surface, the earth has three main layers: Mantle, (liquid) Outer Core, and (solid) Inner Core.
  24. More than 84% volume of the earth is composed of the mantle. It is also the thickest of all the layers, around 2,900 km thick.
  25. Earth’s magnetic field is at least 3.5 billion years old. It protects the planet from dangerous solar wind and is necessary for the working of compass. However, scientists are not sure about the origin of the magnetic field. (Source)
  26. The temperature at the boundary of the earth’s inner and outer core is around 6,000 C (10,800 F). It is equal to the temperature at the surface of the sun. (Source)
  27. The Ozone layer on the earth’s atmosphere is due to the interaction of oxygen and solar ultraviolet rays. It protects the earth from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.  
  28. There are several theories about the origin of the moon. According to the widely accepted theory, the moon was once part of the earth. It formed when a small planet struck the earth at the beginning of the Solar System. (Source)
  29. The largest stalagmite (rock-shaped mineral deposit in caves) is in Cuba. This massive stalagmite is 70 m high with a diameter of 20 m. (Source)
  30. The moon is the only natural satellite of the earth. It revolves around the earth at a distance of 385,000 km (239,000 miles).
  31. According to a study, the earth once had a second tiny moon. The collision of both moons may be a reason for the lumpier shape of our moon on one side. (Source)
  32. Few astronauts say that the earth may have more than one moon now. This new possible moon has the size of a compact car.
  33. Tides (rise and fall of sea level) happen primarily due to the gravitational force of the moon. The sun plays a small role in causing these tides due to its distance from the earth. (Source
    Satellite image of Bouvet Island
    Bouvet Island in Atlantic Ocean is the remotest island on Earth 

  34. The earth’s most remote island, Bouvet Island, is in the South Atlantic Ocean. The nearest point of this uninhabited island is Queen Maud Land in Antarctica (1,700 km south), while its closest inhabited place is the coast of South Africa (2,600 km in the north).  
  35. The mid-ocean ridge is the longest mountain range on earth, having a length of 40,389 miles. Nearly 90% of this system is under the ocean. (Source)
  36. Krubera Cave in Abkhazia (Georgia) is the deepest known cave on earth, with a depth of 2,197 m (7,208 feet). (Source)
  37. The deepest man-made hole on earth is 7.5 miles (12 km) deep. This hole in Russia is the result of two decades of drilling. The temperature at this depth is 1800 C (3560 F). Comparatively, the distance to the center of the earth is around 4,000 miles (6,400 km). (Source)
  38. Kilauea volcano in Hawaii is the most active volcano in the world. The other two most active volcanoes are in Italy and France, respectively.
  39. There are six layers in the earth’s atmosphere. They collectively cover a distance of 10,000 km (6,200 miles). (Source)
  40. The sun is 400 times larger than the moon. However, the moon can cause a solar eclipse on earth because the sun is 400 times farther from the earth than the moon.
  41. Around 95% of the world’s population lives in those parts of the earth where air quality is unhealthy. Of these, nearly 60% live in areas where air quality is worst. (Source)
  42. The fastest wind speed ever recorded on earth is 256 mph (408 km/h). This speed was created by Tropical Cyclone Olivia (a hurricane) on an island in Australia. According to estimates, Tornadoes have the fastest wind speeds on earth, but these cannot be measured accurately. (Source)
  43. There are a total of 92 natural elements present on earth. However, more than 90% mass of the earth is composed of just four elements: iron, oxygen, silicon, and magnesium. (Source)
  44. person standing at the equator weighs slightly less than his/her weight at the poles. It happens due to relatively less gravity at Earth's equator. (Source)
  45. Earth rotates faster at the equator than at the poles. It affects human activity, weather, and the rotation of the earth. (Source)
  46. The Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system, is the largest living structure on earth. Its length is 1,429 miles, which extends over an area of around 133,000 square miles. Nearly 3,000 individual reefs combine to form the Great Barrier Reef. (Source)
    Great Barrier Reef satellite image
    Great Barrier reef is the earth's largest living structure

  47. The largest living organism on earth is Posidonia australis (a species of seagrass) in Western Australia. It has spread over an area of 200 square km (77 square miles), making it 450 times bigger than Vatican City, the smallest country in the world. (Source)
  48. The average time of length of Earth day is 24 hours. The earth usually takes less or more than 24 hours to rotate on its axis. (Source)
  49. The primary factor behind the creation and shaping of mountains is the movement of plate tectonics. Climate and erosion also play a vital role in this process. (Source)
  50. There are seven large and several small Plate Tectonics. They bring earthquakes but also stabilize the earth’s surface.
  51. Rocks at the surface of the earth are continuously destroyed and recycled into new rocks. The interaction between the tectonic and the hydrologic systems stimulates this rock cycle. (Source)
  52. Earth has a history of formation and splitting of supercontinents. These supercontinents form and split every 400 to 500 million years due to the movement of tectonic plates. The last supercontinent is known as “Pangea,” which was formed around 300 million years ago and broke up 100 million years later. According to estimates, current continents will again join together to form another supercontinent after hundreds of millions of years. (Source)
  53. More than 1,000 thunderstorms cause 6,000 lightning flashes on earth every minute. (Source)
    Lightning flashes on earth
    Earth receives 6,000 lightning flashes every minute

  54. According to a study, the earth receives around 60 tons of cosmic dust daily. This dust fall from comets, meteorites, and other bodies of the solar system. (Source)
  55. Earth is the densest planet in the solar system. Its average density is 5.5 gm/cm3. (Source)
  56. Iron is one of the most abundant elements on earth. Molten iron is the main component of Earth's core. It came from outer space through an explosion of stars. (Source)
  57. The highest temperature recorded on earth is 56.7 Celsius in California, USA (1913). The Death Valley is 190 feet below the sea level. (Source)
  58. The lowest temperature ever recorded on earth is -89.2 Celsius at Vostok, Antarctica. It was measured on July 21, 1983. (Source)
  59. Southern lights (the aurora australis in the Southern Hemisphere) and northern lights (the aurora borealis in the Northern Hemisphere) are strange colorful spectacles easily visible at higher altitudes. The solar wind strikes the earth’s magnetic field at the north and south magnetic poles. The collision of solar particles with oxygen or nitrogen in the earth’s atmosphere produces red, green, and purple light. (Source)
  60. Except for the earth, the names of all the other planets of the solar system are derived from Greco-Roman gods.


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