Want to know more about the Earth? It is our home, and here are 25 interesting facts about the Earth that you probably didn’t know before reading this.
It turns out that we live on a quite spectacular and unique place after all, and we should definitely look after it better. Perhaps these Earth facts will fascinate you as well.
We are all Earthlings, every single living being on the planet.
1. The first photo of Earth was taken in 1946
Most people know that the first moon landing was in 1969 by the Apollo 11. But we actually sent a camera into space way before that, and the first photograph of Earth dates back to 1946.
2. The only planet in our solar system that isn’t named after a god
The other planets in our solar system are all named after gods and goddesses, for example, Mars, Venus, Saturnus, and Jupiter. But our planet is simply named Earth, or Terra or Tellus, which basically means “World”.
3. The Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing
Don’t worry, we will not stop rotating and it’s not something that you will even notice. But scientific reports have shown that the Earth’s rotation actually is slowing down.
The estimated deceleration is approximately 17 milliseconds per year. So in 140 million years, the ones who inhabit the planet can enjoy 25 hours instead of 24!
4. The continent of Asia counts for 30% of the total land mass but is home to 60% of the world’s population
China is the world’s largest country by population, closely followed by India. Both countries are home to 2,6 billion people in total, and that’s just 2 of Asia’s countries.
As for land mass, Russia is the largest country in the world by land area, and most of it is located on the Asian continent.
5. It was once believed to be the center of the universe
Scholars used to think that everything followed Earth and that all of the planets were rotating around our planet instead of the sun. They believed that everything in the Universe was revolving around the Earth.
Luckily we know better today, but nonetheless an interesting historical fact about Earth.
6. There are many man-made objects orbiting our planet
This is one of those facts about Earth that I wish we could somehow reverse because it can potentially lead to big problems. Every single man-made object that we have put into space is still up there
This includes space junk such as abandoned satellites, deployed rocket bodies, human waste and even the lost glove of the astronaut Ed White.
We keep sending more and more stuff into space, and even if they break, they will stay in orbit.
In the future, if meteorites and more human debris collide it can quickly cause a domino effect where our own man-made objects will be destroying the functioning satellites.
7. Earth has a powerful magnetic field
The magnetic field helps to deflect solar winds and cosmic rays, who could potentially wipe out our entire ozone layer. It is believed that the field exists thanks to a rapid rotation in combination with the nickel-iron core of the planet.
Our compasses use the magnetic field to navigate as well.
8. One year is actually more than 365 days
How about that? But you probably already knew this if you think about it. Because every fourth year, we have an extra day in February, and the reason for this is because that one year on earth is actually 365,24 days.
9. 70% of the surface is covered in water
We only have 30% of land mass on Earth, and not every place is habitable. Can you believe that 70% of the world is water? And we haven’t even explored more than 1/3 of the oceans.
The largest ocean is by far the Pacific ocean, and the deepest point can be found in the Mariana Trench.
10. Only 3% of the water on Earth is freshwater
Can you believe that only 3% of the world’s water is enough for 7.7 billion people + all the animals? Well, of course, some places have less water and water scarcity is a big problem in some areas, but still, most of the planet has enough to survive.
And not even 3% because 2% of the freshwater is locked up in Antartica and the Arctic. Definitely one of the most fascinating facts about Earth!
11. The planet consists mostly of iron, oxygen, silicon, and magnesium
If you were to separate all the materials that make up Earth, you would have about 32,1% iron, 30,1% oxygen, 15,1% silicon and 13,9% magnesium. Together these materials make up 91,2% of the planet.
12. The core of Earth is as hot as the surface of the Sun
Magma can be found under the Earth’s surface and scientists estimate that the temperature of the core is as hot as 6,000 C (about 10,800 F), which is the same temperature as the surface of the Sun.
The estimation comes from an experiment where they determined the melting point of iron.
13. There have been several mass extinctions in history
You have probably heard about the dinosaurs, which used to live all over the world some million years ago. However, a large meteorite struck Earth and wiped out most of the population. Only smaller animals and plants were lucky enough to survive.
But that’s not the only mass extinction, and probably not the last. There have been 5 major mass extinctions in history which have all formed the planet into what it is today.
Our current era has also been labeled as the sixth mass extinction due to the fact that so many species disappears because of illegal hunting, changes in the environment, deforestation, and humans moving into the animal territories.
Use of pesticides and other harmful substances are causing a mass extinction of insects as well, including bees.
14. There is a layer of Ozone protecting us from harmful solar radiation
One of the facts about Earth that I’m most thankful for is that we have a protecting Ozone layer. Without the Ozone layer, life would be very different on our planet, if any life at all.
The Ozone layer protects against the Sun’s harmful UV rays.
15. Kīlauea is the most active volcano
The most active volcano on the planet is Kilauea in Hawaii. For more than 3 decades, the volcano has had constant eruptions.
Other highly active volcanoes are Mount Etna (Italy) and Piton de la Fournaise (Reunion Island).
More random facts about the Earth
- The first life on our Blue Planet began in the ocean
- 408 km/h (253 mph) is the fastest wind speed ever recorded
- The lowest point on Earth is called Challenger Deep
- The Pacific ocean is the largest ocean on our planet
- It is estimated that the oceans are home to at least 1 million species, and only 1/3 have been discovered
5 x Earth Facts for Kids
- The Earth is estimated to be 4,54 billion years old
- It’s the only planet known to have life
- There are more than 7 billion people living here
- The Earth is also home to about 1,5 billion cows
- Mount Everest is the highest point on Earth
General Facts about Earth
If you want to know more about our planet, these general facts about Earth will probably be interesting for you as well.
- Other names: Tellus, Terra
- Surface temperature: -88 to 58°C
- Countries in the world: 195 (according to the UN)
- Total area: 510 100 000 km² (197 million sq mi)
- Area covered in water: 361.13 million km2 (139.43 million sq mi)
- Total mass: 5.97 x 10^24 kg
- Distance to the sun: 149 600 000 km
- Population: 7.7 billion people
- Axial tilt: 23.439281°
How many of these Earth facts did you know before reading this? Leave a comment below!