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Amazing Facts About Earth

Only when we come across some of the most amazing facts about the Earth, do we realize that we are just negligible components of this vast reality. Read on....
Every aspect of the planet, right from its formation to the present, has some or the other amazing thing about it. Most of the time, we don't realize this fact, but when we do we are left bewildered, amazed, baffled, and what not. It's not surprising, because there are so many fascinating things about the planet that even if we try, we won't be able to list out all of them. We did try to do it though, and what we came across simply left us spellbound!

Amazing Facts About Planet Earth
The Earth has evolved over thousands of years to become what it is today. Whilst undergoing this dramatic change, the planet experienced several phenomena, which left a strong impact on the planet - today we call them the 'natural wonders'. These are, no doubt, the most amazing facts which make us feel proud of the planet which we call our home.
  • The hottest temperature ever measured on the planet, 136 degrees Fahrenheit, was measured at El Azizia, Libya, on September 13, 1922.
  • The highest, or should we say the biggest, waterfall in the world is Angel Falls of Venezuela, dropping from a height of a whopping 3,212 feet.
  • You can escape the gravitational pull of the Earth, if you move at a speed of 6.95 miles per second. At this speed, it would just take 20 seconds to travel from New York to Philadelphia.
  • If the entire water in the ocean in evaporated, and the salt produced from this spread evenly over the whole planet, the planet would lie beneath a 500 ft layer of salt.
  • The longest mountain range in the world is the Andes Mountain Range, spread over a distance of 4,525 miles in South America.
  • Lake Baikal, in the former USSR, is the deepest lake in the world with a depth of 5,371 feet.
  • The honor of being the largest canyon system on planet Earth goes to the Grand Canyon, with its main branch itself running over a distance on 277 miles across the United States.
  • The deepest canyon in the world is the Hell's Canyon. Located at the Oregon-Idaho border, Hell's Canyon has a depth of approximately 8000 ft.
Oceans
Approximately 70 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by water in form of oceans, and therefore a list of facts about the planet without due justice to these oceans would be incomplete. (The study of this gigantic water body is known as oceanography.)
  • Even though somewhere around 70 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by water, 97 percent of this water is saline water present in various oceans of the world, and hence of no use.
  • Overall, the ocean bodies on the planet contain about 328 million cubic miles/1.34 billion cu. km of water.
  • The largest ocean on the planet is the Pacific Ocean, which spans over an area of 64 million square miles, i.e. approximately 1/3 of the Earth's surface.
  • The deepest part of the planet, the Mariana Trench has a depth of a whopping 36,198 ft or 6.9 miles, and lies in the Pacific Ocean.
  • The most interesting part: Sea water contains almost all the elements present on the planet, including gold. In fact if all this gold is extracted, every individual will have about 9 lbs of gold each.
The most dominant components of the planet, oceans play a vital role in maintaining a favorable environment for us humans. But lately, human induced global warming is letting this monstrous water body loose, and this is bound to create havoc on the planet.

Antarctica
The coldest, the driest, and the windiest among all the continents, Antarctica is in itself one of the most amazing facts about Earth. But it doesn't end there, there are some more astounding facts about Antarctica.
  • One of the most dry places on the planet, Antarctica receives precipitation in the form of rain or snowfall only about once or twice a year.
  • The coldest temperature to be ever recorded on planet Earth, -129 degrees Fahrenheit, was recorded at Vostok, Antarctica in 1983.
  • Technically speaking, Antarctica is the largest desert on the Earth, and not the Sahara.
  • The 1.6 mile thick ice sheet covering the continent of Antarctica, constituting around 90 percent of the total fresh water, is the largest store of fresh water on the planet.
  • It is the only continent on the planet which has no country or government, even though many countries claim their right over this cold desert.
Volcanoes
If we take into consideration all the volcanoes which have erupted at least once in the past 10,000 years, there are around 1500 active volcanoes on the planet. Let's have a look at some more fascinating volcano facts.
  • Approximately 80 percent of the Earth's surface is of volcanic origin, i.e. caused by some volcanic activity.
  • Although there are some volcanoes which take thousands of years to form, there are some volcanoes which have formed within the span of a night as well.
  • The 'Ring of Fire' is a group of several volcanoes which encircle the Pacific Ocean.
  • With a height of 4,169 meters from its base beneath the sea surface, the largest volcano in the world is Mauna Lao, located in Hawaii.
  • The credit of being the tallest volcano in the world goes to Mauna Kea, with a height of 4,207 meters, in Hawaii.
Interestingly enough, around 20 percent of the total number of volcanoes on Earth are found on the ocean floors. When these volcanoes erupt they tend to trigger various natural calamities, including earthquakes and tsunamis.

These facts about the planet can be termed as the 'tip of the iceberg', with many fascinating things awaiting to be revealed. Numerous attributes of the planet continue to elude us - while some of these will come our way in the near future, some may take several hundred years.
By Abhijit Naik
Bouquets and Brickbats
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