Mind-Blowing Facts About Planet Earth That Will Make You Question Everything
Learning a few amazing facts about Earth can remind humanity how lucky we are to call this planet home. One of the biggest of these mind blowing things about Earth is the fact that it's more than 4.5 billion years old. Then about 3.8 billion years ago, single cell organisms were born. About 230 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed the earth until they died and were replaced by early humans about 200,000 years ago. That's a lot of history.
Discovering things you didn't know about our planet can be an eye opening experience and could possibly bring about several life changing realizations that blow your mind. Understanding exactly how Earth works and came to be has inspired people for years. However, many humans don't stop to think about the ground they stand on or the water they drink since life is just too busy. Take a minute out of your day to embrace these interesting facts about Earth. They just might blow your mind.
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The Driest Place On Earth Is In Antarctica And Hasn't Experienced Rain In 2 Million YearsPhoto: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Flickr / CC-BY 2.0
Surprisingly, the driest spot on Earth is located in a roughly 1,850 square mile area in Antarctica appropriately named Dry Valleys. There are bodies of water but there is relatively no ice or snow. Thanks to heavy winds that take moisture elsewhere and a lack of rain for 2 million years means there is a zero net gain of water in the area.
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Thanks To Ancient Microbes, The Earth May Have Once Been PurplePhoto: NASA / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
When viewed from space, Earth appears blue (water) with bits of green (land with plants on it). However, one scientist posits that the Earth may have been purple a long time ago, thanks to ancient microbes that obtained energy from the sun using retinal rather than chlorophyll, the pigment which makes plants appear green.
Since retinal absorbs the green light that makes up most of the sun's energy and reflects back violet and red light, the combination would have given the planet a purple tint.
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One Million Billion Cubic Feet Of Snow Falls From The Sky Each YearPhoto: Envisat satellite / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
Scientists estimate one million billion (that's 15 zeros) cubic feet of snow falls from the sky across the globe every year. All that snow is said to also weigh a million billion kilograms, with about one billion ice crystals in every cubic foot. Whether all snowflakes are indeed not alike is still under debate.
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Gravity Does Not Act The Same Everywhere On EarthPhoto: woodleywonderworks / Flickr / CC-BY 2.0
Because Earth is always moving, gravity is not the same all over and you would weigh slightly more at Earth's poles than at the equator. There are also places where gravity is extremely different, such as Hudson Bay in Canada. Scientists believe convection currents from Earth's mantle or Earth reacting to the pressure of ice on its surface being eliminated after it melts cause this.
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The Largest Volcanic Eruption Killed More Than 60,000 People, And The Strongest Earthquake Measured 9.5Photo: Earth Observatory / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
In 1815, Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupted, creating a crater on its top 2,000 feet deep after it blew off 4,000 feet of mountain. It's believed 60,000 to 90,000 people were killed in the aftermath of the blast which was heard more than 1,200 miles away.
The most powerful earthquake ever recorded happened in 1960 when a 9.5 magnitude tremor shook Chile, destroying buildings, creating a series of tsunamis, and killing as many as 6,000 people.
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The World's Longest Mountain Chain Is 40,389 Miles Long—And Is Located UnderwaterPhoto: Jeff Williams (NASA) / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
The world's longest mountain range runs 40,389 miles around the world, and 90% of it is covered by ocean water. Called the Mid-Ocean Ridge, this underwater range was formed by magma rising to fill gaps that formed as Earth's plates shifted. Its mountains average a depth of 8,200 feet below the water's surface.
In comparison, the longest chain of mountains on land is South America's Andes, which is a paltry 4,350 miles long.