13 Facts about Earth


The Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets. It is sometimes referred to as the World , the Blue Planet , or by its Latin name, Terra.

  1. Earth is not a perfect sphere. If you look at Earth from above, you'll see that it has bulges in the middle (it's called the "oblate spheroid"). There are various reasons for this, but the most likely reason is that it got pulled in two directions after its formation. The pressures of its formation placed wrinkles on top of itself and forced it to flatten out. It's like a piece of fabric with wrinkles: they break away when pressed. But this process doesn't happen evenly everywhere; there are areas where the wrinkles get deeper and others where they're shallow. When viewed from above or below, these spots on Earth look like small spherical islands above or below other landmasses.
  2. The circumference of the Earth is 24,901 miles, which makes the literal distance around the Earth 40,075. 26 statute miles (40,074 statute miles plus the length of one foot - one statute mile is 5,280 feet).
  3. Earth has an uneven gravitational field. The Earth's outer core is extremely powerful, generating the tidal forces with which the Earth is battered. But the core's massive weight (from about 30% to 80% of the calculated mass of Earth) is balanced by its lightness; despite being 10 times as massive as all the other solid materials on Earth, it weighs only 5% of Earth's total weight. The mantle above it, on the other hand, has no light material to balance it and thus consists mostly of dense rock (mostly iron). As a result, its gravity pulls more strongly on any object within than the force exerted by the core.
  4. The length of the day is increasing slightly, contrary to what you may have heard. This is because the Earth's rotation is slowing down due to the increasing centrifugal force caused by the increasing energy input.
  5. Earth is a terrestrial planet, meaning it's composed of silicate rocks and metals. This means it has a solid crust, solid mantle, and solid core. Earth's atmosphere is an extended atmosphere that gradually thins out with depth (and pressure). It is less dense at the top than at the bottom. Earth's atmosphere also has constant circulation patterns; winds move in massive circles called Hadley cells, and these winds vary with altitude, latitude, and season.
  6. Earth is approximately 93 million miles away from the sun. It takes light from the sun about 8 minutes and 19 seconds to reach Earth.
  7. The largest living thing in the world is a fungus: the Parasitic Clavate Orbweaver, which measures 3. 5 meters (11. 5 feet) across. It can be found in the forests of Costa Rica and Panama.
  8. Earth's magnetic north pole is moving northward. The Earth's magnetic field is weakening, and the north pole will eventually shift to the Arctic Ocean. This process can be seen in real-time at Real Time Magnetic Resources.
  9. Last updated in February 2013, the Earth BioGenome Project documented 8,688,437 species on Earth. That's about 86 percent of all species estimated to exist in the world, and including extinct species, it's about 98 percent of all species that have ever existed.
  10. The Pacific Ocean is Earth's largest ocean basin, covering about 31% of the Earth's surface and holding about 66% of all Earth's water. Second-largest is the Atlantic Ocean, followed by the Indian Ocean.
  11. Oceans cover about 70 percent of Earth's surface. If you add to this the fact that there is water in the Arctic and Antarctic icecaps, it brings the total to about 96 percent.
  12. Mawsynram in India holds the record as the wettest place in the world. It rains here over 450 days a year. This is equal to over twenty feet (six meters) of rainfall.
  13. The oldest tree in the world is almost 5,000 years old. It is located in eastern Turkey and is a Great Basin bristlecone pine.