Kick-ass and Interesting Facts About Earth
1. Long before trees overtook, the earth was covered in giant mushrooms.
2. When oxygen first developed on Earth around 2.5 billion years ago, it wiped out nearly ~99% of all life on the planet.
3. Russia’s Tsar Bomba, the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated, was so powerful that it created seismic shocks that were measurable even on their third passage around the Earth.
4. Earth’s rotation is slowing at a rate of approximately 17 milliseconds a century, and the length of a day for the dinosaurs was closer to 22 hours.
5. Scientists believe that multicellular life only has 800 million years left on Earth, at which point, there won’t be enough CO2 in the atmosphere for photosynthesis to occur.
6. Most life on Earth used to be purple instead of green. Ancient microbes might have used a molecule other than chlorophyll to harness the Sun’s rays, one that gave the organisms a violet hue.
7. If the sun was scaled to the size of basketball; Mercury would be the size of a grain of sand-33 feet away, Earth would be the size of a BB shot-86 feet away, Jupiter would be the size of a gumball-445 feet away, and the nearest star would be another basketball-5000 miles away!
8. There is a large area over central South America where the Earth’s magnetic field has weakened. This is known as South Atlantic Anomaly. It is so large that NASA powers down it’s satellites when passing over it.
9. Mount Everest may be the tallest mountain in the world, but Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest away from the center of the earth due to the fact that the earth bulges at the equator.
10. There were still Mammoths alive on Earth as late as 2000 BC on Wrangel Island, an Arctic Ocean. It was around the same time that the Pyramids were being built in Egypt.
11. There is a site on in Gabon, Africa in a town called Oklo where self-sustaining natural nuclear fission reactions took place 1.7 billion years ago.
12. Gravity Probe B (a satellite-based scientific mission) has the most perfect spheres ever created by man. “If GP-B Gyroscope’s were enlarged to the size of the Earth, the tallest mountain would be just eight feet tall.”
13. The Earth gets a 100 tons heavier every day due to falling space dust and meteorites.
14. The weight of the ants on earth totals up to 9 Trillion Kgs, more nearly thrice as much as total weights of humans.
15. There is a satellite called LAGEOS-1 (launched in 1976) that will return to earth in 8.4 million years. Inscribed on it is a picture of what scientists think the continents will look like at that time.
16. Pangea, the supercontinent that broke apart 200 million years ago to create the continents we have today was at least the 5th supercontinent in Earth’s cyclical history of supercontinents forming and breaking up.
17. Without the Moon, the Earth’s axis would shift unpredictably and seasons would not be constant.
18. There is an un-contacted tribe in Brazil with only one surviving member. He is probably the most isolated person on Earth, and maintains this status by shooting anyone, who tries to bother him.
19. Humans have vestigial deposits of magnetite in our sinuses, which were used by an evolutionary ancestor to sense the earth’s magnetic field for direction.
20. Next to humans, leafcutter ants form the largest and most complex animal society on earth. They are also agriculture experts, harvesting and feeding grass to a fungus in an amazing symbiotic relationship.
21. Only less than 4% of land has other land on the exact opposite side of the earth from it, which is called its “antipode.” There are very few spots where you could talk about digging straight through the earth.
22. The oldest living thing on Earth is 6,000 tons of grass in Australia, which is thought to be most likely 100,000 years old.
23. In September of 2010, the United Nations appointed official ambassador to extraterrestrials in case they would ever make contact with Earth
24. There is an inflatable space habitat in earth orbit since 2006 that was launched just to prove that such habitats are possible.
25. If you take the entire history of Earth, and call that an hour, the first 50 minutes are nothing, but microbes and single cell organisms, in the last 10 minutes animal life appeared, and all of human history happened in the last hundredth of a second.
26. The Earth is relatively smoother than a billiard ball .
27. About 50% of Earth’s internal heat is from radioactive decay. Earth used to be hotter, before elements with shorter half-lives were depleted.
28. The vast majority of the earth’s gold and platinum is found in its core. The reason these elements are so rare on the surface is because they mostly sunk to the core when the planet was molten.
29. Eighty percent of all animal species on earth have six or more legs.
30. Finland’s nuclear waste bunker Onkalo is built to last intact till the year 102,120. Work began in the year 2004 and it will be closed in 2120s. This bunker will probably be one of the last remains of humankind on Earth.