Earth, the third planet of our solar system. It is also known as the blue planet of our solar system. It is very surprising if some interesting facts are known about the planet Earth where we live.
Our home planet Earth. In this known universe, Earth is the only place confirmed for the existence of life. Today in this article, you will get to know such interesting facts about our home planet which you may have never heard. So, explore every fact one by one.
Interesting Facts About The Earth
1. Earth was the center of the Universe
The matter dates back to about 1600 AD when an astronomer named Nicolaus Copernicus told that the Earth is not the center of the universe. Rather, they are like other planets and revolve around the sun.
This is because, historically, people believed that the Earth is the center of our universe and that the sun, moon, and all the stars revolve around the Earth.
Then came the period when Galileo Galilei discovered a telescope in 1609 and demonstrated his astronomy (Heliocentric) or Sun Centered theory. In 1632, he published a book that stated, that the heliocentric theory of Nicolaus Copernicus was correct.
2. Along with the Earth, all planets move in an elliptical orbit.
When you look at the school books again, you will observe that the orbits appear to be circular. But we were taught that the orbits of planets were elliptical (egg-shaped). This is because the orbital paths of planets are actually elliptical.
Well, this is a theory given by Johannes Kepler in Kepler’s first law of planetary motion. He was the 16th-century astronomer who established three laws that govern the motion of planets around the sun. And this is one of them.
Kepler’s First Law of planetary motion:- The first law states that the planets move in an elliptical orbit around the sun, with the sun at one of the two foci of the elliptical orbit.
3. Earth consists of three layers.
The interior of the planet Earth is actually divided into three parts – the crust, the mantle, and the core (outer core and inner core).
The crust is the outermost layer of Earth. It ranges in depth about 19 miles (30 kilometers). This layer has continents and oceans. It is the humans, animals, and plants that live on the earth’s crust. Some minerals like silicon, calcium, sodium, aluminium, and potassium are found in the Earth’s crust.
The mantle (the thickest layer) is the layer under the crust. In other words, the mantle is in between the outer core and crust, which covers about 84% of Earth’s volume. The thickness of this layer is about 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers).
It is the layer from where magma comes out in the form of lava when a volcano erupts. Well, the upper part of this layer is hard, made up of rocks whereas the lower part is hot and molten like honey.
The core is the innermost layer and present the centre of the Earth. It ranges about 6900 km. This core is categorized into two parts:- Inner Core and Outer Core.
The outer core has been confirmed that it is in the liquid state. This layer is about 1,400 miles (2,300 kilometers) thick, which is made up of iron and nickel fluids.
The inner core is a solid ball made up of iron and nickel metals. It is about 759 miles (1,221 kilometers) in radius.
4. Earth’s surface has tectonic plates
So far, in the information given by scientists, Earth is the only planet that has tectonic plates. Tectonic plates are the piece of Earth’s crust and uppermost mantle. It is also referred to as the lithosphere and consists of dozens of major plates and several minor plates.
When these plates collide with each other, several disasters occur like earthquakes or Tsunami. Sometimes there is a smooth movement between these plates but at times the movement is sudden and violent. The Japan earthquake and the 2011 tsunami are examples of this violent movement.
5. Earth is the only planet not named after a god.
Yes! All the seven planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) except for Earth, were given name after Greek and Roman gods and Goddesses. Although, the namesake of the planet Earth is at least 1,000 years old. The word “Earth” is a germanic name and it means “The Ground”.
Read Also – The Planets in Order from Smallest to Largest – Size
As you are exploring an enthralling article of facts about the earth, I am leaving a question for you. It is also related to Earth. If you know the answer, put it in the comment section.
Question – When do the planets in our solar system all line up? When it will happen in the future?
6. The Earth’s Rotation is Gradually Slowing down
Yes, Scientists have known that for many years the rotation of the Earth has been decreasing gradually. A group of researchers has estimated that about 1.4 billion years ago, a day was about 18.7 hours. But now it is about 23.56 hours.
But why is this happening? So, the rotation of the planet Earth is gradually slowing down due to the tidal forces between the Earth and the Moon.
Every 100 years, the length of a day increases by about 1.7 milliseconds. But the length of the day varies from year to year.
7. The Earth Used to be Purple in Earliest Life
If we leave out the ocean surface, then the earth’s surface is green, but it is said that our earth was purple in the earliest life. How?
Ok, first of all, let us understand that everything green we see today is due to chlorophyll (a natural compound present in green plants). It helps in obtaining energy from the sun through photosynthesis.
It looks green because, it absorbs the blue and red parts of the visible spectrum to use in photosynthesis, and then reflects green light.
Exactly some of these processes used to happen in early life. In early life, Earth may have been able to generate metabolic energy from sunlight using a purple pigment molecule called “retinal”. A molecular biologist Shiladitya DasSarma thinks that this molecule already existed on Earth.
Now that these retinal pigments absorb green and yellow light, and transmit red and blue light, the combination of this gives us purple. That’s why in early life the earth used to be purple in color.
Want to know more about this topic, you may read this article.
8. More than 80% of the Ocean have never been mapped or even seen by Humans
Scientists have not been able to explore Planet Earth more than 50% so far, but on the other hand, we have explored the moon, sent rovers to Mars. Isn’t this sound strange!
Well, we all know, the ocean covers more than 70 percent of the earth, and more than 80 percent of the ocean has never been mapped or remain unexplored.
But from what scientists have explored the ocean, we have known many mysterious creatures and also have discovered new things, theories.
- Dr. Gene Carl Feldman, an oceanographer at NASA’s Goddard space flight center, explains that the ocean at depth, is characterized by zero visibility, extremely cold temperatures, and crushing amount of pressure. He also explains that sending people into space is a lot easier than sending them into the depths of the ocean.
- A discovery by which we came to know that, the ocean contains towering mountain ranges and deep canyons, known as trenches.
Now, most of the marine species we haven’t discovered yet. Oceanologists say, more than 90% of the ocean species are still undiscovered. For now, scientists know about 226,000 marine species. But some estimates suggest that there are about a million or a few million more to be discovered.
9. Earth is the only planet that supports life
Scientists have discovered some planets and moons in space that show evidence of the possible existence of life. But out of these, Earth is the only planet where life actually exists.
The first appearance of life on Earth is a complex topic and a long-standing debate. However, it is said that the first traces of life recorded on Earth are thought to be as old as 4.2 billion years, 200 million years after the first appearance of liquid water. Want to know more, you may read this article.
Scientific researchers say that the first life on Earth was formed in the form of microscopic organisms. And it left a sign of its presence in rocks about 3.7 billion years old. But today we live among diverse communities of thousands of animal species. You may explore this interesting article to know more.
10. Earth’s Core is as hot as the Sun’s surface.
Yes, measuring the temperature of the core of our Earth’s center was a very difficult puzzle for scientists. But after exploring the core, they found out that the temperature of the Earth’s core is similar to that of the Sun’s core.
Well, there is a slight difference between them in temperature. The temperature of Earth’s core is about 5200oC (9,392o Fahrenheit) and the temperature of the Sun’s surface is about 5538oC (10,000o Fahrenheit).
11. Some Basics Facts about The Earth
- Many of you think that the earth is a sphere in shape but it is not true. Actually, The Earth is not a sphere, The earth is an oblate spheroid with a diameter at the equator that is 43 km larger than at the poles.
- Earth does not take exact 24 hours to rotate on its axis. Actually, It takes 23 hours 56 minutes to complete one rotation completely on its axis. Astronomers refer to this as a sidereal day. But with increasing time, a day will become 25 hours. How, above I have put the reason that how the earth’s rotation is gradually slowing down. Must Read.
- It does not take 365 days for the Earth to make one revolution around the Sun. Actually, it takes 365.25 days to orbit the Sun. Nevertheless, we usually measure 1 year as 365 days. This extra .25 days makes a leap year every 4 years, as the month of February has 29 days.
So these are some interesting facts about the planet Earth. I hope you liked this article, if you have any questions, please let me know in the comment section.