Planet Earth. The beautiful blue marble that continues to fascinate human kind. And why shouldn’t it fascinate us? In addition to being our home and the place where life as we know it originated, it remains the only planet we know of where life thrives. Test your personal knowledge about our incredible planet with the fun Earth facts below!
Earth’s Rotation Is Gradually Slowing
This deceleration is happening at approximately 17 milliseconds per hundred years.
Earth Is a Squashed Sphere
Earth is not a perfect sphere. As our home spins, gravity points toward the center of our planet. But the gravity force acts perpendicular to the axis of the Earth, and the Earth’s axis is tilted. This imbalance adds up at the equator where gravity pushes extra mass of water and earth into a bulge or “spare tire” around our planet.
The Planet Is Recycled
The ground we are walking on is recycled, as Earth’s rock cycle transforms igneous rocks to sedimentary rocks to metamorphic rocks and back again.
The Longest Mountain Chain Is Under The Ocean
The mid-ocean ridge is an underwater chain of volcanoes that spans some 40,389 miles. It rises 18,000 feet above the bottom of the sea. As lava erupts from the seafloor it creates more crust, adding to the mountain chain, which stretches around the globe.
The Dead Sea Is The Lowest Point On Land
The Dead Sea is between Jordan, Israel and the West Bank. This super-salty lake is 1,388 feet below sea level.
Earth Used To Be Purple
Earth may have been as purple as it is green today. According to microbial geneticists, ancient microbes may have used a molecule other than chlorophyll to harness the sun’s rays -- one that is suspected to give off a violet hue. It’s thought that chlorophyll appeared after another light-sensitive molecule called retinal was already present on early Earth. Retinal is a plum-colored membrane that absorbs green light and reflects red and violet light.
The Atacama Desert Is The Driest Spot
The direct spot on Earth is the Atacama Desert of Chile & Peru. In fact, it’s so dry that in the center of this desert, there are places where rain has never been recorded!
Antarctica Is Considered a Dessert
Speaking of dry spots, did you know Antarctica is actually considered a desert? Inner regions get just 2 inches (50 millimeters) of precipitation a year (typically as snow).
Earth Is Mostly Iron, Oxygen & Silicon
If you separated the Earth into piles of Materials, you would get 32.1 % iron, 30.1% oxygen, 15.1% silicon, and 13.9% magnesium. If you sampled the core, it would be a whopping 88% iron. And if you sampled the Earth’s crust, you’d find that 47% of it is oxygen!
Earth Day Originated In The US But Became Recognized Worldwide In 1990
On the very first Earth Day, 20 million people gathered in the streets of America to protect the industrial revolution. This gave birth to an environmental movement.