We think we know everything about our galactic home. This isn’t the case: some scientists joke that people know less about the Earth than about the entire Universe.
We gathered some interesting facts about our planet that will probably surprise you.
Everest isn’t the highest mountain on the planet
The Mauna Kea volcano measures 4205 meters above sea level, however, most of it is hidden under water. The total height of this peak that is in Hawaii is 10 203 meters, that is, 1355 more than Everest.
The countries have their upper borders.
The Karman line is a conventional line located at the height of 100 km above sea level. Although the Earth’s atmosphere extends for many more kilometers, the International Aviation Association accepted precisely this line as the boundary between atmosphere and outer space.
The driest place in the world is in Antarctica.
It is believed that the driest place on the planet is the Chilean Atacama Desert, where for several thousand years there has been no rainfall. But there is a place on Earth where it has not rained for 2 million years, and it is the Dry Valleys of McMurdo, located in Antarctica. Also, this is where the highest winds on the planet below.
Fresh water makes no more than 3% of all the water in the world.
97% of the water on the planet is found in seas and oceans and isn’t suitable for drinking because of its high mineral content. Of the remaining 3% of the water, 70% is held by glaciers and the other 20% by Lake Baikál.
The oldest temple in the world is about 12,000 years old.
The ruins of the world’s oldest shrine Göbekli Tepe are located in the territory of modern Turkey. The drawings found in the remains of stelae gave scientists the possibility to suppose that about 11 000 years ago a comet fell on Earth, which caused the coldest temperatures in the entire planet.
The Moon used to be part of the Earth.
According to the theory suggested by Swiss scientists, 4.36 billion years ago the Earth tangentially faced a hypothetical planet Theia, which ripped part of the mantle, making it a natural satellite of the Earth.
Within 250 million years the continents will come together again.
It is well known that the different Pangea continent, which existed 335-175 million years ago, was divided into Laurasia and Gondwana, which were then divided into the continents that live today.
According to the predictions of scientists, within 250-300 million years all continents will once again become one and will form a super-continent called the Last Pangea.
A bacterium destroyed everything that lives on Earth
According to a theory of the scientists of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the cause of the mass extinction, during which 90% of the living species disappeared from the face of the Earth, was a single bacterium called metanosartsin.
The increase of its quantity in the waters of the oceans 252 million years ago also caused the famous mass extinction of insects. It is believed that this “gave way” to the archosaurs: the ancestors of the dinosaurs.
Most of the planet is always submerged in darkness.
The oceans occupy 71% of the surface of the Earth. The thickness of the aquatic layer illuminated by sunlight doesn’t exceed more than 200 meters, and the rest of the water is in darkness. Therefore, most of our planet is submerged in dark both day and night.
The difference in the schedule of two neighboring countries can be more than one day.
Although the distance between American Samoa and the Line Islands belonging to Kiribati is only 2000 km, the time difference is 25 hours.