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21 Fun and Weird Facts About Earth (2024 Updated!)

Earth…the pale blue dot. The blue planet. Home. It’s where we as humans have lived out every single day of our lives (so far). But, did you know that there is so much more to Earth than we even realize?

Earth Facts for Kids

You may know that our orbital speed around the sun is 67,000 MPH, but what else do you know about Earth? Earth is not only made up of water and precious minerals, but it has so much more to offer that we are beginning to understand.

So, sit back and relax with these weird and fun facts about our home planet.

1. Orbital Speed

As mentioned above, Earth’s orbital speed is approximately 67,000 MPH, or 107,826 km. This means Earth is traveling at 30 km or 18.64 miles per second. Earth is going pretty fast around our sun each year, considering the average speed limit on the ground.

2. Earth is Old

Scientists estimate that Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old. Yes, that’s billion with a B. Earth’s age is an estimate based on rocks and soil from millennia ago.

3. Our Planet is Massive

Earth is a massive planet. While it’s not quite as large as planet Jupiter, it still holds massive weight. Earth measures in as the fifth largest planet in our known solar system, at 12,800 kilometers, or approximately 7,900 miles across.

If you wanted to measure the entire circumference of the Earth, you would see that it measures 24,901 miles or 40,075 kilometers at the equator.

Earth Size comparison with other planets

4. Earth is the Only Life-Supporting Planet in Our Solar System

As far as we know, Earth is currently the only life-supporting planet in our solar system. Other planets such as Venus and Mercury are too hot, while Jupiter is gaseous and Neptune is too cold. Earth falls into the “Goldilocks” zone, making it a perfectly habitable planet.

5. Our Atmosphere Matters

Earth’s atmosphere is the reason life can thrive on the planet. Earth is made up of both oxygen and nitrogen, which help protect the planet from harmful sun rays. The atmosphere is optimal for supporting life.

Earth Atmosphere

This explains the wide array of species that can be found in water and on land throughout the planet.

6. Libya is the Hottest Place on Earth

The temperature around Earth often fluctuates and is cyclical, regardless of location. In 1922, however, El Azizia, Libya, took the crown as the hottest location on the planet.

Libya’s temperature was recorded at 136 degrees Fahrenheit, or 57.8 degrees Celsius, in September 1922. The NASA Observatory received and recorded this data.

Although the temperature is impressive, it’s thought that there have been global heatwaves that have simply gone unrecorded over time.

7. The Coldest Place on Planet Earth is Antarctica

While this may not come as much of a surprise, Antarctica is the coldest location on planet Earth. Antarctica is its own continent. And, while it’s not technically habitable, it’s home to many researchers and scientists year-round.

The coldest temperature recorded on Earth is from Russia’s Vostok Station in Antarctica. In 1983, the temperature recorded there was a chilling 128.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 89.2 degrees Celsius.

8. Gravity on Earth is Uneven

Wait, what?

Yes, you read that right. The gravity around Earth is not distributed evenly as the Earth is not a perfect sphere. Meaning, that some areas around the planet have lower gravity measurements than others.

Various studies from 2007 show that now-melted glaciers may be to blame for the uneven gravity phenomenon.

The deformation of the Earth’s crust may explain gravity shifts. According to the Journal of Science, in some areas, gravity may be lower by 25 to a whopping 45 percent.

9. Earth is Magnetic

The Earth is one giant magnet, with a pole at each end. Because of Earth’s magnetic field, strange phenomena have been reported since the dawn of time.

Earth's Magnetism

The flow of hot liquid metal inside of planet Earth (the molten core) generates the magnetic flow. Ultimately, the electric flow allows for currents and the generation of the magnetic field. Scientists report that the Earth’s magnetic pole has been moving north since the 19th century.

Since the 19th century, it’s believed the magnetic pole has shifted 600 miles, or 1,100 kilometers in total. This is according to scientists at NASA.

10. Pole Shifts Exist

Once you are familiar with the Earth’s magnetic pole, it’s easy to understand pole shifts. Magnetic pole reversals occur approximately every 200,000 to 300,000 years. This is according to many expert scientists and archeologists. It’s estimated that this pattern has evolved over 20 million years.

When a magnetic pole shift occurs, it does not happen overnight. Instead, the shifts require hundreds of thousands of years to complete. Once the cycle is complete, the poles have switched places with one another.

11. Rocks Walk in Death Valley

You’ve likely heard of Death Valley at some point or another in your life. But, have you ever heard that rocks can, in fact, walk? No, they don’t grow legs–they move due to a natural mechanism in nature.

Rock's walking path in death valley

On a particular lake bed named Racetrack Playa in Death Valley, ice-encrusted rocks become overwhelmed with meltwater from the hills above the playa. Once enough water melts down the hills, the rocks appear to begin walking on their own across the playa.

This is one of the rarest sights to see for those who visit the playa.

12. The World’s Longest Mountain Range is Underwater

Sure, there are plenty of massive mountains, such as Mount Everest, that sit above ground on planet Earth. But did you know the world’s longest mountain range actually sits underwater? This range is referred to as the “mid-ocean range.”

This range of mountains includes an entire chain of volcanoes, which rise approximately 18,000 feet above the water (or 5.5 kilometers) and span a whopping 65,000 kilometers or 40,389 miles.

Additionally, scientists state that each time a volcano erupts on the mid-ocean range, it creates more crust. This ultimately adds to the volume of the chain.

13. The Deepest Spot on Planet Earth is the Mariana Trench

If you have a fascination with the ocean, you likely want to know the deepest point on Earth. Currently, the deepest spot on planet Earth is known as the Mariana Trench. The ocean’s deepest spot can currently be measured at 36,200 feet, or 11,033 meters.

14. The Lowest Point on Earth is in Antarctica

Along the same lines as the deepest point in the ocean, there is also the deepest spot on land. This spot is, in fact, in Antarctica, and is in the Bentley Subglacial Trench. The spot is inundated with ice and is not habitable. The spot, however, is measured as deep as 2,555 meters, or 8,382 feet below sea level.

15. The Largest Living Structures on Earth Are Coral Reefs

While you might not think of a coral reef as a living being, they support the most species in one condensed area. Out of all of the ecosystems found around planet Earth, coral reefs rival even rainforests.

Coral reefs can expand over time, resulting in massive growth. The expansion of fish schools and other sea creatures also scales coral reefs over time. This is why it’s imperative to take care of the coral reefs that exist around the world today if we want to take care of our precious planet.

16. Earth May Have Been Purple in the Distant Past

According to a microbial geneticist from the University of Maryland, it’s thought that Earth may have once been purple in hue. Due to ancient microbes and the formation of the Earth, other molecules besides chlorophyll may have been used.

Earth's Historical Purple Version

This may have helped to harness the rays from the sun while projecting a violet hue on all life on Earth.

17. Most of Earth is Water

Sure, you likely know that the majority of Earth is made up of water. But, did you know water makes up a whopping 70 percent of Earth’s overall surface land?

Currently, scientists and researchers have only been able to map approximately 20 percent of the planet’s seas. This leaves another 80 percent to the unknown. Although we know more about our planet’s seas than we did just 50 years ago, there is still so much to uncover.

18. The Entire Planet is Electric

By now, you might have guessed that most things on planet Earth are, well, electric. With magnetic poles, energy, and plenty of lighting, this is clear to see.

On planet Earth, there are approximately 6,000 flashes of lighting every single minute. Yes, minute. And those lighting bolts measure in at a whopping 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit or 30,000 degrees Celsius. Steer clear of the lightning, wherever you go!

Even human beings are entirely electrical. But, that is for another time.

19. Earth Was Once Pangaea

In the past, Earth was not separated into continents. In fact, it was thought of as one giant landmass or supercontinent. This supercontinent came to be known as Pangaea. Pangaea was thought to exist around 300 million years ago when all land on planet Earth was linked together.

20. Scientists Believe Something Collided With the Moon

Earth and Moon closer to each other

It is commonly thought that an object, such as a giant meteor or asteroid, once collided with the moon head-on. Many researchers and scientists believe that an object collided with the moon resulting in the formation that exists today. Without the collision, it is thought that the Earth may not exist in its unique position today.

21. The Earth is Filled With Gold and Riches

Throughout the seas of Earth, it’s estimated that more than 20 million tons of gold may be found. That’s more than $770 trillion dollars floating around, so to speak.

Unfortunately, it’s not thought possible to retrieve this gold—at least, not yet. Undissolved gold can be found throughout many rock beds and seafloors around the world. In many instances, these seafloors are too difficult to reach, which is why the gold remains.

Related Questions

What were the oceans called when Pangaea existed?

Surprisingly, there was only one sea when Pangaea existed nearly 300 million years ago. At the time, the sea was called Panthalassa.

Today, a similar-sounding term “thalassophobia” can be traced to the fear of deep water.

What makes Earth so unique and different?

Earth is currently the only planet capable of sustaining life, including all the planets in our solar system and universe. Earth’s surface is mostly water, with a whopping 70% of it being water.

However, its abundance of life is sure to make its inhabitants ponder the very nature of their existence.

How many people live on planet Earth?

As of November 2022, there were approximately 8 billion people living on planet Earth.

How was Earth named?

Earth comes from the Germanic and old English words that mean “the ground”.

What was Earth’s first color?

Researchers discovered pink pigments in rocks beneath the Sahara Desert. These rocks have been dated at more than 1.1 billion years old. Because of the dating results, the bright pink pigments discovered are currently considered the oldest color identified on planet Earth.

What is the youngest color?

Surprisingly, while blue is a staple color in our everyday lives today, it is the youngest color on planet Earth. This means the color blue was not visible in our color spectrum until later on in Earth’s development.

What was Earth originally called or named?

Did you know that planet Earth is the only planet in our entire solar system that has not been named after a Greco-Roman deity?

Originally, Earth was commonly referred to as “Earth Mother”, or Terra Mater/Tellus Mater, depending on where you were located. Terra Mater and Tellus Mater are both derived from the Latin term “Earth Mother”, or “Mother Earth”.

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