When you start to think about the Earth, truly think about it, you’ll find that we as human beings lucked out a lot. Start to compare us with the overall universe, however, and you’ll realize just how small we truly are. However, in a somewhat fun cosmic win, we now know that the Earth has more trees than there are stars in the overall Milky Way Galaxy.
This is where our winning ends, sadly. Outside of our galaxy, several more stars exist. There are so many that you could count up every possible grain of sand on Earth. Even though this would likely be impossible. Pretending you did, you’d still be seeing a number dwarfed by the number of stars in the overall universe.
9. The Great Barrier Reef Is The Largest Living Structure On Earth, For Now
While it is sad to say that various coral reefs have changed up over time, with many even dying from multiple issues, nothing beats the Great Barrier Reef. When you talk about things you can see from space, this very Reef is one of those things. It is absolutely breathtaking in-person but the images of it are amazing too.
Located right off the coast of Queensland, Australia, this Reef measures out at around 1,430 miles long. To equate this size, it is the same as the state of Texas or the country of Japan fully put together. The wildlife here is absolutely amazing as the Great Barrier Reef hosts 1,625 types of fish, 100 species of jellyfish, and 600 types of both soft and hard corals. All of this inside a Reef composed of almost 3,000 smaller reefs.
Don’t assume we’re somehow in support of the infamous Flat-Earth Theory. At Science Sensei, we base our views on the current evidence and it has been known for a long time that the world isn’t flat. However, it might be more recent that we’ve found that it also isn’t perfectly round either. Currently, the Earth is spinning about 1,000 MPH which gives the planet a somewhat “oblate spheroid shape,” if you will.
This is not a perfect sphere because of a clear bulge around the Equator. It looks perfectly round from space in the images. However, when the distance from the sea level to the Earth’s core at the Equator was measured, it was found to be 13 miles greater than at the Earth’s poles. In layman’s terms, Earth’s belly is sticking out like your uncle’s on Thanksgiving.
7. Antarctica Contains 90% Of The World’s Ice And 70% Of Its Water
We all know Antarctica is unbearably cold and obviously known as the continent of ice. To no one’s shock, this continent is home to 90% of the world’s overall ice. This is a massive thing to consider in that just one place contains so much. Due to this, it should also not be a shock that the continent also contains 70% of the world’s water too.
The ice measures out to 15,748 thick in certain places. On top of this, if the entire place were to melt somehow, the world’s oceans would end up rising around 187 feet. We’d truly be a blue planet then. Funny enough, this place is also the home to Drys Valleys, where it has not rained in 2 million years. Talk about some mind-blowing facts about the Earth!
Most of the time, when you think about mind-blowing facts about the Earth, you don’t really consider the magnetic field that the planet has. However, this very field is a major reason we’re still alive today. It helps us keep a lot of things away from the Earth itself and works as shielding of sorts to protect us.
One of the biggest things it does is protect us from solar storms or solar winds. If you were in space at the time of one, you’d likely be dead or end up dying from radiation poisoning eventually. We’re helped in that our magnetic field reflects this and keeps us safe from them. It aids us much more than this, but we’d need an entire article on the magnetic field to tell you about it all.
5. We’ve Only Explored 5% Of Our Oceans And Its Contents
It has long been said that we know more about outer space than about our own oceans. This is not entirely inaccurate if we’re being fair. We do know a lot about space but it would be hard to say we know more than 1% of it due to the vastness of it all. Yet our time on Earth with the oceans have not faired much better. We only know 5% max about our world’s oceans.
This involves not knowing about things like land and contents under the sea as well as multiple sea creatures. On top of this, it’s actually hard to map for us. While we can create maps of up to three miles in resolution, we can’t go further due to radio waves that interfere with documenting things via scan. This means we have a better map of Mars & the Moon than our own oceans.
We all know now that, according to the Big Bang Theory, the universe was formed through everything shaping itself over billions of years. During this, we saw planets colliding, which also included moons. During one of these encounters with our own moon, we were given a few gifts. First, it gave us a little bit more mass as we took a part of the moon with us.
Yet we also took some of its magnetism to add to our own magnetic field. This is a major reason the Earth’s magnetic field is so impressive. It’s not entirely shocking to see gifts through colliding, as asteroids gave us part of our water too Science has found that we may have once had two moons too. The two collided and now we see what we see today. Could our Moon also have an actual atmosphere if not for us and other collisions? Perhaps.
Looking at how lucky we became, it is not a wonder why some alien species may not consider us worth visiting. They may assume we did not have to do much at all to live. To be honest, they would not be that far off. The Earth, as well as everything that happened to it, gave us this amazing planet that eventually became possible for human life. The biggest of all of this is our atmosphere.
It is so thick that outer space and its nothingness cannot randomly take away our precious oxygen resource or cool the Earth to a ball of ice. Mars and the Moon apparently at one point did have a true atmosphere before collisions with the Earth. We took a little from everyone to eventually form out a planet that can sustain life, with an atmosphere type found nowhere else in our solar system.
Growing up in school, we were always taught about our major continents. This involved North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, Antarctica, and Europe. However, we were not taught correctly. You should not get mad at your Elementary/Grade school teachers or science teachers from high school. To be fair to them, they didn’t know this either.
For some time, the 7 continent theory held perfect ground. That was until the discovery of an eighth that science is trying to officially recognize as a Continent. Known as Zealandia, most of the continent happens to be submerged in the ocean. However, a tiny part of it managed to survive the ages to become the New Zealand we know today. We feel Zealandia should certainly be recognized as the eighth continent on Earth, despite its underwater status.
1. There Have Been 5 Mass Extinctions And Somehow We’re Still Here
Mind-blowing facts about the Earth like this make you truly consider if you’re worthy of such an honor. However, it is completely true that the Earth has suffered a mass extinction 5 times now. While there have been several extinction level events beyond this, the major 5 are our big focus, of course. The first happened 444 million years ago called the End Ordovician where 86% of species were killed.
The next up are the Late Devonian (375 million years ago, 75% of species lost), End Permian (251 million years ago, 96% of species lost), End Triassic (200 million years ago, 80% of species lost), and the End Cretaceous (66 million years ago, 76% of species lost). As weird as it might be, if not for these extinctions and the world-changing events that came with it, we would not be here today. Consider yourself lucky, human.