April 22 marks the annual Earth Day, a day which marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement, which began in 1970.
This day brings to light the importance of being Eco-friendly and aims to bring the issue of plastic pollution to the attention of everyone around the world.
As the day focuses on and celebrates the wonderful planet that is our home, the Earth in all its glory is brought to the forefront of people’s minds, but did you know all of these unusual, yet spectacular facts about planet Earth?
1. All of the Earth’s rocks are recycled again and again
The ground that we walk on every day is recycled and will continue to keep being recycled, as the Earth's rock cycle transforms igneous rocks to sedimentary rocks to metamorphic rocks and this cycle continues again and again. Volcanoes spit the rocks out as magma, which then dry, harden and then after a very long time they either get sucked down again by plate tectonics or get pushed towards the core of the Earth by a fresh layer of rocks above.
2. Antarctica contains most of the Earth’s Fresh water and ice
Antarctica, the southernmost continent and site of the South Pole, contains around 70 percent of Earth's fresh water and 90 percent of its ice.
3. Gravity isn’t equal
Gravity is not distributed equally around the globe as would be expected. For example, Hudson Bay in Canada actually has less gravity than other regions of the world, due to it having less land mass in that particular part of the planet. This is because of both retreating glaciers on the surface and swirling magma which is deep in the Earth’s core.
4. The North Pole is moving
Earth's magnetic north pole is actually moving northward each year, at a rate of around 10 miles.
5. The moon also quakes
Earthquakes aren’t the only quakes which affect the Earth, Moon quakes also occur and can actually make a difference in the tides.
6. The longest mountain range on Earth is actually underwater.
This range is called the mid ocean ridge system, which stretches for 80,000 km all around the world and is completely volcanic.
It is nearly 20 times longer than the Andes, the longest mountain range on the surface of the Earth.
7. Lakes also explode gas and magma
It’s not just volcanoes which hold and explode gas and magma, as there are lakes in Africa, on the borders of Cameroon, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which sit just above volcanic Earth and hold large pockets of dangerous gas which is trapped underneath them.
8. Most of the Earth’s ocean remains undiscovered
Although the ocean is and extremely important component of the Earth, as it drives weather, regulates temperature and supports all living organisms, only 5 percent has been explored by humans.
Even though 70 percent of the planet is covered in ocean, 95 percent of this wonderful realm is still yet to be seen and explored by humans.
9. There’s gold in the sea
Each litre of seawater contains around 13 billionths of a gram of gold, with this meaning there is enough undissolved gold on the seafloor for everybody on Earth to have £9 each.
10. Challenger Deep is the deepest spot on Earth
Challenger Deep, located in Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean, is the deepest spot on Earth. It is situated nearly 11 km below the surface of the ocean and only 3 people have ever dared to go there.
11. It has an underwater meadow
Posidonia oceanica is a seagrass species in the Mediterranean Sea, which forms large underwater meadows that are an important part of the Earth’s ecosystem.
It is thought be amongst the oldest known living things on the planet, dating back to almost a hundred thousand years old.
12. Coral reefs can be seen from space
Coral reefs are underwater ecosystems which are bound together by calcium carbonate structures. They are constructed from millions of very small polyps and are the largest living structures on Earth, with some of these even being visible from space.
13. The Earth isn’t entirely round
Centrifugal force pushes outwards at the Earth's equator, which actually gives it a slight waistline. Did you know that at the equator, the circumference of the globe is around 24,901 miles?
14. The Earth’s magnetic poles flip
For the past 20 million years the magnetic poles of the North Pole and the South Pole have switched, doing so around every 200,000 to 300,000 years. However, in the year 2012 was more than twice this length since the poles had last reversed.
This is due to the magnetic poles wandering away from the region around the spin poles, which is the axis around which the planet spins, which eventually causes the poles to switch around.
15. The lowest point on land is the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea, located between Jordan, Israel and the West Bank, is the lowest point on land, located 1,388 feet below sea level.