Even though the earth has been around for billions and billions of years, there is still a lot about it that will surprise and shock almost every person. Even scientists who spend their entire adult lives studying and learning about the earth, also become shocked at some of the secrets that the earth holds. And if they can be shocked and surprised by something they study and know so well, then you can t0o. So read on and get ready to be shocked and surprised by these 18 facts about the earth, and you simply won’t believe number 5.
#18 The Earth Isn’t Actually Round
Despite popular belief, the earth isn’t actually round. But it isn’t flat either, like a lot of people think. While it is mainly round, centrifugal forces push outwards on the equator, which gives the earth a bit of a “waist”. For another entry that disproves a popular theory, check out number 10 on this list.
#17 We Are Constantly Moving Pretty Fast
This is hard for people to realize, but we are in a constant state of motion. Even when we are standing still, we are moving, very fast. And not even in one direction either. We are spinning at about 1,000 miles an hour and are also speeding in a straight line at around 67,000 miles an hour.
#16 It Can Reach Almost Unfathomable Levels of Heat
Even though the world is steadily getting hotter with global warming, the hottest temperature ever recorded was in 1922. In Libya, it reached 135 degrees fahrenheit, which is just insane. You would barely be able to be outside for minutes at this heat. Check out the next slide to learn about the exact opposite of this one.
#15 It Can Reach Temperatures So Low It Can Kill You In Minutes
On the other hand, the earth can also get so cold that you would develop frostbite within minutes of your skin being exposed. The Vostok Station in Antarctica is the location of the coldest recorded place in the history of the world. Here, it reached a frigid temperature of -128.6 degrees. Something tells me they don’t receive a lot of job applications there.
#14 The Gravity Isn’t the Same Everywhere on Earth
While we are all aware that gravity is what keeps us and other things on the surface of the earth, we don’t all understand much more about it. Some places have more or less gravity based on the mass at the location. Check out number 6 on this list for something else that we can’t see, but is definitely there.
#13 The Earth’s Magnetic Pole is Actually Moving
The magnetic North Pole for the earth is actually constantly moving. While not a ton, it is shifting northward at about 10 miles a year. This also means that GPS and other technologies have to adjust to this constantly. However, the earth’s Pole isn’t the only thing that is changing, check out number 8 on this list.
#12 Earthquakes Aren’t Exclusive to Earth
Earthquakes are a very devastating natural disaster and kill tons of people and cause billions of dollars in damages every year. And while these quakes often occur on Earth, it is not the only place where they can happen. Moonquakes can also occur and actually can have an impact on Earth’s ocean tides. If you thought that was crazy, check out this next fact…
#11 A Volcano in southern Italy Has Been Erupting for 2000 Years Straight
Volcanoes can either be very cool or very devastating, depending on where you live. And while most of them erupt quite sparingly, the Stromboli volcano in Italy has been erupting continuously for thousands of years. However, in addition to the lava they spill, volcanoes can be harmful in other ways as well, as you’ll learn in our next entry.
#10 Lakes Can Be Dangerous Too
While oceans often get the bad reputation for being very dangerous in our world, lakes can be just as bad. While most of the lakes where we live are safe, there exist lakes in Africa that are not. This is because they sit on volcanic earth, which traps large pockets of dangerous gas beneath the water.
#9 A Large Majority of the World’s Water is Unexplored
Scientists have estimated that about 70% of the planet is covered in water, which is an absolutely massive amount. However, the even more shocking statistic is just how much of that has been explored by humans. Only 5% of the total water on the planet has been explored, so who knows what else could be out there.
#8 The Earth Itself is in a Constant State of Change
While many of us think of the earth as a static planet that had remained the same over time, this is not even close to true. Continents have shifted and we have gone through a few ice ages. While these are some massive changes, there are much smaller changes going on everywhere. While the earth might look the same to you year after year, big changes are happening.
#7 There is Tons of Undissolved Gold in the Ocean
As it turns out, there is about 20 million tons of gold throughout the ocean, even though most of it is diluted. In fact, every liter of seawater contains about 13 billionths of a gram, which means that the ocean houses enough gold to put about 20 dollars in everyone’s pocket. Check out this next fact about a secret mountain range…
#6 The Largest Mountain Range on Earth is One We Can’t Even See
The earth is full of amazing different mountain ranges. These are huge and seemingly go on forever. However, the biggest mountain range on the planet is actually underwater. It goes on for about 80,000 km and is about 20 times longer than the Andes, which is the longest range on the planet. I bet you never knew this next crazy fact…
#5 Coral Actually Hold More Living Things Than the Forest
There is no doubting that forests are some of the coolest places on the planet due to their beauty and vast wildlife. There are acres and acres of forest across the world, that is home to hundreds and thousands of different species. However, coral is actually vaster than the forest, houses more animals and can be seen from space.
#4 The Earth is Much Deeper Than You Think
While many people know the oceans are extremely large and vast bodies of water. However, people can hardly understand or comprehend just how deep they go. The deepest point discovered so far is the Challenger Deep in the Mariana’s Trench. It is about 35,000 feet deep and only three people have ever visited it.
#3 100 Tons of Material Falls to the Earth’s Surface Every Day
While we think of things like meteorites and such falling to earth being extremely rare, there is actually quite a bit of interplanetary material that falls to the Earth’s ground. In fact, it is believed that up to about 100 tons of this material can fall every day all over the planet. You’ll get a real kick out of this next fact…
#2 The Earth is the Only Planet Not Named After a God
Now this one is a little bit strange. Other than earth, each and every planet in our solar system is named after a god of some kind. The name earth likely came from “erda” which is the Anglo-Saxon word for ground, dirt or soil, and the name has been around for thousands of years.
#1 A Year Isn’t Actually 365 Days
Despite it being common knowledge for most people that a day is 365 days, this actually isn’t 100% true. A day is actually 365.24 days. And while people mainly just round down, this doesn’t work in scientific terms. In fact, this extra .24 of a day is actually why leap years exist.
So as you can see, despite the earth being around for so long and being studied by hundreds (or even thousands) of people at all times, it still has ways to surprise us and put us in a state of awe. And over the next years, decades and even centuries, we will continue to discover new and exciting about this dynamic and constantly changing planet of ours. And while this list goes over 18 of the most mind-boggling facts about earth out there, there are surely dozens and even hundreds of other facts out there for you to find and learn too!