We think we know everything about our home planet, but we couldn’t be more wrong. Scientists have already discovered a lot about the Universe, but they believe there is still much more to discover about one particular planet.
We were so surprised to find out new amazing things about Earth that we decided to share them with you right away.
1. Mount Everest is NOT the tallest mountain in the world.
Hawaiian Mauna Kea has an altitude of 4,205 m above sea level. However, the biggest part of the volcano rests below sea level. So if measured from the base to the summit, Mauna Kea is 10,203 m high, which is 1,355 m taller than Mount Everest.
2. Earth’s atmosphere has borders.
The Kármán line is an internationally accepted line that lies at an altitude of 100 km above sea level. Although the level of Earth’s atmosphere ends much higher, this very line was recognized by The World Air Sports Federation as the boundary between the atmosphere and outer space.
3. The driest place on Earth is located in Antarctica.
It’s commonly believed that the driest place on Earth is the Atacama Desert in Chile that hasn’t had rainfall for thousands of years. But the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica have seen no rain for nearly 2 million years. The winds here can reach speeds of 320 km/h.
4. Freshwater represents only 3% of all water on Earth.
The oceans and seas hold 97% of Earth’s water, but it’s salty ocean water, not suitable for drinking. The remaining 3% of total freshwater is held in glaciers (70%) and in Lake Baikal (20%).
5. The world’s oldest temple is about 12,000 years old.
Göbekli Tepe, the oldest known temple, is located in southern Turkey. Researchers believe that the carvings on the pillars prove that roughly 11,000 years ago a comet strike caused a sudden temperature drop on our planet.
6. The Moon was once part of Earth.
Swedish scientists suggest that some 4.36 billion years ago planet Earth collided with hypothesized planetary-mass object Theia, leading to the formation of Earth’s only permanent natural satellite.
7. In 250 million years continents will reunite.
As we know, Pangea, a supercontinent that existed 335-175 million years ago, split into two different continents, forming Laurasia and Gondwana. Later, the two split apart to form all seven continents.
But scientists believe the continents will group together again in 250-300 million years from now and will become a single supercontinent called Pangaea Ultima.
8. A single-celled organism caused the first mass extinction.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists suggest a theory explaining the mass extinction that wiped out almost 90% of all living creatures on Earth.
A bacteria named Methanosarcina suddenly bloomed in the oceans 252 million years ago, triggering the only mass extinction of insects known to science. It also gave Archosaurs a unique opportunity to evolve.
9. Most of our planet always lies in the dark.
As we know, the World Ocean occupies 71% of our planet’s surface. The depth of the water exposed to sunlight is no more that 200 m, so the rest of the water is permanently in the dark. Therefore, most of our planet rests in the dark at any time of the day.
10. Neighboring states can have a 24-hour time difference.
Despite the fact that American Samoa is only 2,000 km away from the Line Islands that form part of Kiribati, the time difference between the two neighbors is 25 hours.
Bonus: New continent?
Garbage patches, or garbage vortices, are patches of debris and cargo lost from ships and collected at sea. It is speculated that one day the trash all of mankind leaves at the ocean is going to form a sort of island, maybe even a new continent. The biggest garbage vortex is now the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.