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Learn Some Surprising Facts about Earth

Uncover the hidden mysteries of earth, which have 10 surprising facts.

Come along as we explore the wonders of Earth and unearth 10 astounding facts that will blow your mind about our home planet.

Our planet, Earth, is a mine of marvels, both well-known and undiscovered. Even though its continents, oceans, and varied ecosystems are well known to us, there are still a ton of undiscovered secrets.

The Quiet Before the Storm

There is truth to the proverb “calm before the storm” provided certain criteria are met. A low-pressure area is left behind after a storm as it absorbs warm, humid air from the surrounding atmosphere, which serves as its fuel.

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A portion of the air is driven upward by strong drafts as it is taken up into the storm cloud. The hot air is extracted by these updrafts and is forced out over the sides of the tallest storm clouds, which can reach heights of up to 16 kilometers (10 miles).

The air then gets warmer and dryer as it falls, making it more stable. People in that area experience a quiet before the storm as it covers the area below and stabilizes the air inside.

The Moon is not Earth’s only Companion

Though they are not strictly deserving of the name, there are two more entities orbiting close to Earth that are occasionally referred to be moons. 3753 Cruithne is an asteroid that was found in 1986 and is in fact in solar orbit.

Cruithne appears to be following Earth because the period it takes to orbit the sun is equal to that of Earth. Viewed from Earth’s perspective, its orbit resembles a bean. In addition, asteroid 2002 AA29 completes a yearly circle around the sun.

Its peculiar horseshoe-shaped trajectory takes it about halfway between Earth and the sun every 95 years, or 5.9 million kilometers or 3.7 million miles. Scientists have recommended taking samples from AA29 and returning them to Earth because of how close it is to us.

Our Sun is Very Hungry

Like our sun, every star ages and eventually dies. When the sun runs out of hydrogen, it will collapse due to gravity and eventually swell into a red giant that will vaporize Earth and be 100 times larger and 2,000 times brighter than the sun. It won’t occur for roughly five billion years, so don’t worry.

A viable solution would be to depart from the Earth before this occurs, but that would necessitate unimagined technology and a livable place. The other possibility is that Earth’s orbit could be upset and thrown off course by a passing star during the course of the next several billion years. According to scientists, there is a one in 100,000 chance of this happening, which is higher than the lottery.

Sea Levels were Very Different in the Past

The Earth’s ice sheet underwent its most recent advance approximately 70,000 years ago, peaked 11,500 years ago, and reached its maximum extent 18,000 years ago. The Mississippi and other American rivers were rerouted during this period as a result of glaciers and sheets of ice carving out the basins of the Great Lakes and obstructing waterways.

Sea levels decreased by as much as 120 meters (390 feet) due to the amount of water trapped as ice, exposing portions of the ocean floor. Additionally, the sea level on Earth has previously risen by much to 70 meters (230 feet). In actuality, the sea level was 5–7 meters (16–23 feet) higher during the last interglacial period.

Earth’s Gravity is not Uniform

Earth would have a uniform gravitational field everywhere if it were a perfect sphere. However, the planet’s surface is actually uneven, and the force of gravity is altered by tectonic plate movement, water flow, and ice drift.

We refer to these differences as gravitational anomalies. Gravity is greater in areas with mountain ranges like the Himalayas than it would be on a featureless, flawlessly smooth world. This phenomenon is known as a positive gravity anomaly.

On the other hand, negative gravity anomalies are created by ocean trenches, which are land dips that were made by glaciers millions of years ago. With its mission orbiting above us, NASA’s GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) is studying the Earth’s gravitational field in unprecedented detail.

The Driest Place on Earth

Paradoxically, the largest body of water in the planet, the Pacific Ocean, is located adjacent to the driest area on Earth, the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. Arica, Chile receives just 0.8 millimeters (0.03 inches) of rain on average per year.

Calama city in Atacama is thought to have had a 400-year drought prior to an unexpected rainfall in 1972. In contrast to other deserts, the Atacama is comparatively cool and does not even support cyanobacteria, which are green photosynthetic microorganisms that reside in rocks or beneath stones, in its most parched regions.

NASA astrobiologists visit the Atacama Desert in search of microbes able to withstand such harsh conditions in an effort to discover whether extraterrestrial life exists.

Earth’s Ice Ages

The Earth had multiple ice ages, or periods of extremely cold climate, between 600 and 800 million years ago. The “snowball Earth” theory refers to the belief held by certain scientists that Earth froze multiple times, either fully or almost. The temperature dropped to such an extreme.

Earth would have been blanketed in glacial ice from pole to pole during four such times of alternating freezing and thawing that may have been brought on by decreases in greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide and methane.

The planet’s average temperature would have been similar to that of Antarctica today, at roughly -50 degrees Celsius (-74 degrees Fahrenheit), with the equator reflecting the majority of the sun’s energy back into space via ice.

There were Not always many Continents

For millions of years, there has been an intermittent link between the continents of Earth. The huge tectonic plates that support the land masses of Earth came together some 800 million years ago, assembling the continents into a massive supercontinent called Rodinia, with what is now North America at its heart.

Eventually, 250–500 million years ago, several of the fragments that made up Rodinia re-collapsed, producing the Appalachian Mountains in North America and the Ural Mountains in Russia and Kazakhstan.

The continents merged once more about 250 million years ago to create Pangaea, a second supercontinent encircled by a single ocean. After 50 million years, Pangaea started to fragment.

Gondwanaland and Laurasia, two sizable land masses that eventually broke off to become the continents we know today, were formed when it separated.

The Days are Getting Longer

The Earth’s day is getting longer. The day on Earth would have lasted about six hours when it was first formed, 4.6 billion years ago. This had increased to 21.9 hours by 620 million years ago. The length of a day is currently 24 hours on average, although it is growing by roughly 1.7 milliseconds every century.

The cause? Because it contributes to the creation of tides, the moon slows down Earth’s rotation. Earth’s rotation is slowed down by a twisting force that results from the planet’s spin pushing the location of its tidal ocean bulges slightly forward of the moon-Earth axis. Our day is growing longer as a result, but not long enough to affect your hectic schedule.

The Earth is not Flat, but it is not Perfectly Round either

The Earth has never had a fully round shape. Because the globe revolves around its axis, it bulges around the equator by an additional 0.3 percent. The circumference of Earth is 12,714 kilometers (7,900 miles) from the North to the South Pole and 12,756 kilometers (7,926 miles) through the Equator.

The distance is approximately 1/300th of Earth’s diameter, measuring 42.78 kilometers (26.58 miles). The Earth appears round to the human eye because this variation is too small to be visible in images taken from space. According to recent data from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Earth’s waistline is expanding due to glaciers melting.

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