We’re pretty sure that most of us know that Earth is our home, but did you know that we have 7 billion people living on it? That our total area of land is 4.7 billion square miles, or 3.7 million square miles more than all of Europe? Or that Earth’s gravity pulls us down 9.8 pounds? Or that Earth’s surface contains 70% water and 30% land?
When you think of all the wonders that exist on Earth, it’s almost impossible to remember them all. Earth is our home, but new facts have been added. Discover some of the more interesting facts about our blue planet. Every day, we learn about new and exciting things about our planet. There are so many interesting facts about the Earth, from strange weather phenomena to unique animals to bizarre plants. Although some of these facts may be a bit unsettling, they are interesting nonetheless.
- Rocks can walk
Did you know that rocks can walk? Well, yes, they do. Sort of. Here’s a fun fact from the University of Colorado Boulder: Rocks, like people, can walk. This type of movement is known as abstruse locomotion, and it usually doesn’t look like walking.
- The Earth is radioactive
Earth’s radioactive elements have an extremely short half-life. This means that when the atom decays, it releases energy in the form of heat and light, and this heat causes more radiation to decay. Eventually, all of the radiation decays after about 5.5 billion years.
- The Earth used to have two moons
It’s hard to imagine, but there used to be two moons orbiting the Earth—and there were even people back then who weren’t sure if either moon was real. The small moon we know today as Luna was discovered on August 9, 1610, by Galileo Galilei, who noticed what appeared to be a new star above it on the night sky.
- The first ozone layer hole is still recovering
In 2015, NASA’s Aura satellite detected the first ozone layer hole (holes are areas of low ozone) above Antarctica. It has since recovered, and now we are starting to detect holes over other parts of the planet. But ozone continues to decline faster than expected. The ozone layer thins when chlorine compounds and other chemicals interact with sunlight.
- The Earth’s rotation is slowing down
Being aware of climate change can be intimidating. It’s a global issue, and our Earth is transforming before our eyes. And it’s not only the temperature that’s heating up, either. The Earth’s rotation is slowing down.
- Every year, about 14-billion pounds of trash are dumped into the ocean
The world population dumps 14-billion pounds of trash into the ocean each year — and that amount is expected to double by 2025.
- The ocean has so much gold, all collectively worth $771 trillion
Scientists have discovered the most precious metal ever known to man in the depths of the ocean. The ocean is the life source on our planet, and scientists have discovered trillions of tons of gold.
- 77 million babies are born each year
Every 28 days, 77 million babies are born, and on average, 1.8 million babies are born in one day.
- We have more viruses than there are stars in the entire universe
Everything from the common cold to the flu can be viral. We have more viruses than there are stars in the entire universe.
- We’re running out of water that is fresh
There’s a clear link between economic growth and water consumption. With more people on the planet than ever, the water demand is also at an all-time high. Sustainable water solutions are desperately needed, but they’re not easy to find.