The top 50 facts about Earth and surrounding Space!
Let’s work our way down from Space, right through to underground as we count down the top 50 facts about Earth!
- The International Space Station cost $150 billion – the most expensive object ever constructed!
- Ten days is the amount of time a Tardigrade can exist in a vacuum! The Tardigrade is the hardest animal in existence.
- A human can survive for 2 minutes unprotected in Space (if they have access to oxygen of course)!
- A picture of the earth has been taken from 3.7 billion miles away! It is known as the ‘Pale Blue Dot’.
- China’s air pollution is visible from space – yet contrary to belief The Great Wall is not.
- An actual day is called a sidereal day – the time it takes Earth to rotate on its axis. It is actually 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds – there are not 24 hours in a day!
- Earth is smoother than a bowling ball! High mountains and deep ocean trenches only make up 1/5000th of the earth’s circumference.
- Since Sputnik launched in 1957, 500,000 man-made objects have orbited the Earth. Space junk is becoming a real problem as it travels at speeds up to 17,500 mph. This is fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft.
- NASA estimates that 1 piece of Space Junk a day re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere.
- Of the 500,000 man-made objects orbiting the Earth, 22,000 are 10cm or larger. Only 5% of this is functioning satellites, 8% is ‘spent’ rockets and a whopping 87% is unused fragments and inactive satellites. This means we have little to no control of the big metal machinery orbiting our planet.
- 100 tonnes of small meteorites enter the earth’s atmosphere every day! Though these are mainly fragments of dust.
- A person could go up to an altitude of 12 miles into the atmosphere before it is necessary to wear a pressurised suit. This is known as the Armstrong Limit and is down to water being able to boil at body temperature beyond this point.
- The largest meteor ever to fall to earth left no crater. The Hoba Meteorite was flat on both sides so may have skipped through the atmosphere like a stone over water.
- The Ozone hole is shrinking! Yay! In 2012, the hole in the layer was smaller than it has ever been in the last 10 years.
- £4.3 QUADRILLION – The value of the earth’s atmosphere based on the price of CO2: 1.3p per cubic metre.
- There are 8.6 million lightning strikes every day!
- Dinosaurs could only exist because the earth’s atmosphere once contained far more oxygen. Reptiles and amphibians can no longer grow to such large sizes.
- In Turkmenistan, there is a ‘Door to Hell’. A collapsed gas well formed a crater that has burned for more than 40 years.
- 40 million tonnes of nutrient-rich dust is transported from the Sahara desert to the amazon rainforest every year by wind.
- Bacteria fossils as old as 3.5 billion years have been found in Australia. This is longer than the earth’s atmosphere has had oxygen.
- The hottest temperature ever recorded was 58.8°C, in 1922 at El Azizia, Libya.
- Dry Valleys, Antartica, hasn’t had any rainfall in 2 million years! It is the driest place on earth despite being made of ice.
- 75% of the earth’s animal species could be extinct within 300 years.
- Plate tectonics move the continents by 5-10cm every year.
- Only 14% of all species on earth have been discovered and identified.
- Water on earth is 97% salted – 3% fresh. There are more than 326 million trillion gallons of water on Earth, 97% of which is salt water, 3% is fresh.
- Antartica has as much ice as the Atlantic Ocean has water.
- 1 litre of seawater contains 13 billionths of a gramme of gold.
- On average, 2000 marine species are discovered every year.
- 90% of rubbish in the world’s oceans is plastic – 73% of UK beaches have Nurdles.
- 99% of the living space on earth is represented by oceans.
- Up to 1 million species live in the world’s oceans – 2/3 of these are so far undiscovered.
- 100 million sharks are killed by us per year. Only 8-12 fatalities to humans per year are caused by sharks.
- 90% of all volcanic activity occurs in the oceans, this is due to the location of the tectonic plate boundaries.
- If all the water on earth was scrunched up into a ball, it would be as large as Saturn’s Ice moon Tethys. This is around 860km in diameter.
- The deepest area of the ocean is the Mariana Trench – 10.9 km below sea level.
- Earth is the only planet in the solar system with plate tectonics. Without them, carbon wouldn’t be consumed and recycled, and the earth would overheat (just like Venus).
- Rare Earth elements are not rare. Lutetium, the least abundant rare earth element, is nearly 200 times more common in the earth’s crust than gold.
- 99% of earth’s gold lies in the core – enough to form a 1.5-foot coat around the surface of the planet.
- The temperature of the earth’s core is as hot as the surface of the sun at 5500°C.
- A solid iron ball 1,500 miles wide sits at the heart of the earth. Although it is white hot the pressure is so high the iron cannot melt.
- The world’s largest crystals weighed a massive 55 tonnes. They were found beneath Mexico’s Naica silver mine.
- 12.4/6371km ± 0.2% is the depth that the deepest ever borehole was drilled in the earth’s crust, compared to the distance to the centre of the earth. It was done by Russias Sakhalin-1.
- Bacteria has been found to survive up to 1.7 miles down under the surface. They survive by using radioactivity from uranium to convert water into usable energy.
- Below the Amazon river lies the Rio Hamza ‘river’. It is 2.5 miles underground and at some points over 400km wide, it flows at less than 1mm per hour through rock.
- 360,000 people are born every day
- 2 people die every second
- 107 billion people have existed on planet Earth.
- 9.7 billion are predicted to inhabit the earth by 2050.
- The oldest known human-made religious structure is Göbekli Tepe in Turkey, most likely erected in the 10th millennium BCE.
Do you have any amazing facts we could add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!