Take your lesson up a notch with these interesting facts about Earth. They are a great way to capture the attention of your kids.
Earth Fun Facts
Spruce up the discussion about the planet we call home with some interesting facts about Earth. Who knew that there wasn’t always oxygen on the Goldilocks planet?!
1. The Earth Is Not Perfectly Round
Most people know that the Earth isn’t flat, but it isn’t perfectly round, either.
Around the equator, the Earth actually bulges out because of how the Earth rotates on its axis.
The diameter from the North Pole to the South Pole is smaller than the diameter around the equator.
If the Earth was perfectly round both diameters would be equal. This bulge around the equator ends up being a difference of 26.58 miles.
We aren’t able to see the difference when pictures are taken from space which is why it appears to us to be perfectly round.
2. The Biggest Body of Water by the Driest Place on Earth
A bit ironic, right? The biggest body of water on Earth is the Pacific Ocean.
The Pacific Ocean happens to be next to the Atacama Desert in Chile which is the driest place on Earth.
The Atacama Desert gets less than 1 millimeter of rain A YEAR!
3. Earth is Slowing Down
The moon and tides are causing the Earth to gradually slow down.
The change isn’t drastic enough to make a change to how long our days are.
It would take millions of years for this change to make our days go from 24 hours to 25 hours.
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4. Earthquakes Help to Learn About the Earth’s Core
Different types of rocks and the temperature of the rocks can change how quickly a wave is able to pass through the rock.
When a rock is cold, waves can move quickly. When a rock is hot, waves move slower.
Knowing this, scientists are able to use seismic activity recordings to help construct 3D models of the Earth based on how the seismic waves traveled.
5. There Are Underwater Mountains
When the tectonic plates move away from each other it causes underwater mountain ranges to form.
As the plates spread, magma seeps out through the cracks. The water cools the magma down and as a result, piles of magma are formed.
These magma piles are enormous underwater mountains.
From base to summit, some of these underwater mountains are larger than the largest mountains above sea level.
6. Lakes and Rivers Are Only A Tiny Portion of Fresh Water
Ice caps and glaciers make up more than 68% of the fresh water on Earth.
The water that is underground makes up more than 30% of fresh water.
But how is water kept underground? There are layers to the ground.
Fresh water is found in the cracks of the bedrock and the rock and soil pores.
Natural springs or a pump can bring fresh water to the surface of the Earth from underground aquifers.
7. Water Moves Around the Globe
Due to the warm and cool currents, water is able to travel around the globe.
In the Northern Hemisphere ocean currents move clockwise and in the Southern Hemisphere ocean currents move counterclockwise.
Warm water that was heated by the sun at the equator is pushed north and south.
The cold water from the north and south collide with the warm water.
The wind controls the surface ocean current but the temperature of the water and the salt levels control the deep ocean currents.
8. There is a Boiling River
A tributary of the Amazon River called Shaney-Timpishka is in Peru.
The water from deep underground is warmed up by the Earth and seeps out of cracks and faults into this tributary.
The water temperature can range from 113 degrees Fahrenheit to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. 212 degrees Fahrenheit is boiling.
Any animal that falls into this river can be cooked!
This is one of the interesting facts about Earth that isn’t often told!
9. Earth Hasn’t Always Had Oxygen
There were millions of years that there was little or no oxygen on Earth.
That doesn’t mean there wasn’t anything here, though. There were microbes that lived on Earth that didn’t require oxygen.
So how did the Earth get oxygen? These tiny microbes, most likely in the ocean, used photosynthesis to make food.
Through photosynthesis, oxygen was released into the atmosphere.
10. Gravity Isn’t the Same Everywhere on Earth
Because the Earth has different geological features, gravity varies depending on the geological features that are nearby.
Mountain ranges create stronger gravity (positive gravity anomaly).
Ocean trenches created by glaciers cause gravity to be weaker (negative gravity anomaly).
The water flow, bumpy surface, and moving tectonic plates all add to the changing gravity, too.
NASA has a mission called GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) which is gathering data and mapping out in great detail the Earth’s gravitational field.
Interesting Facts about Earth
There are many interesting facts about Earth that aren’t commonly taught in schools. Thanks to this list of interesting facts about Earth, you are able to wow your kids, students, or the cashier at the bookstore.