Earth Day is an event celebrated on 22 April every year. Globally, various events are organised to demonstrate support for environmental conservation. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day has come a long way – with over 190 countries now coordinated worldwide by the Earth Day Network.
It’s never too late to get to know our planet better. Here are 8 interesting facts about Earth that might be new to you:
1. Earth may have once had two moons
A study in 2011 suggests that two moons might have crashed into each other form the moon we have today. Astronomers say that a tiny moon, about 1200 km wide could have orbited Earth before catastrophically slamming into the other one. Read the full story.
2. It is moving around the Sun at an incredible speed
Earth isn’t just spinning at a mind blowing speed, it’s also going around the Sun at over 107,000 km per hour. That’s about one thousand times faster than the typical speed of a car on a highway!
3. The highest temperature ever recorded was in El Azizia, Libya… or was it California?
For over 90 years, Libya held the record for being the hottest place on Earth with a temperature of 58°C recorded in 1922. That was until the World Meteorological Organization overruled this claim with a new assessment in 2012, citing that the highest recorded surface temperature of 56.7°C was measured on 10 July 1913 at Greenland Ranch (Death Valley), California.
4. Antartica is a desert
Did you know? The interior of Antarctica is considered the world’s driest desert because the extreme cold freezes water vapour out of the air. A desert is defined as a region that receives less than 10 inches of precipitation per year on average. With just two inches of precipitation annually, Antartica is the desert you have never thought it was!
5. A single lightning bolt can heat the air to around 54,000°F (30,000°C)
That’s right, the planet is electric. The high heat brought upon by the lightning causes the air to expand rapidly, creating a shock wave and ultimately a boom… better known as thunder.
6. You’re actually moving really fast… just by standing still
Depending on your location on the globe, you could be spinning through space without even feeling it. If you’re located on the equator, you move the fastest, at just over 1600 km an hour. That’s quite a speed!
7. The lowest temperature ever recorded was minus 128.6 degrees F (minus 89.2 degrees C) in Russia
A small village in Russia holds the claim to fame as being the coldest continually inhabited place on Earth. Oymyakon, home to about 500 people, recorded a temperature of -71°C in 1924. Read more about it here.
8. The Pacific Ocean is so huge that all of the world’s continents could fit into the Pacific basin
The Pacific Ocean is the world’s oldest, largest and deepest body of water, and could fit all Earth’s continents in its basin with room to spare. Unimaginable, but isn’t it fascinating?
About the author
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