April 22 is celebrated across the world as Earth Day. Let us discover 10 facts about our planet that will blow your mind away.
Earth Day Special
Earth’s got a heartbeat that can be felt in space
The beat is a quasi standing electromagnetic wave that beats fundamentally at around 8 cycles per second. Around a thousand lightning strikes that hit the earth every moment, excite these electromagnetic resonances, called Schuman resonances (SR) in the cavity between the lower ionosphere and earth’s surface. Previously these waves were thought to be trapped within this cavity. But recently in 2011, C/NOFS, a satellite of the US Air Force carrying NASA’s Vector Electric Field Equipment has detected these waves as far as 500 miles away in space.
World’s tallest waterfall is under water
The tallest waterfall on earth is not Angel Falls in Venezuela , but a 2.2 miles high underwater waterfall called Denmark Strait Cataract located in the Atlantic ocean between Greenland and Iceland. Its not just waterfalls; there are huge secret rivers, complete with rapids and islands that flow down the sea shelves out into the deserted abyssal plains creating river banks and flood plains. These saltier-than-sea-water rivers carry sediments and ingredients much like our terrestrial rivers and could be vital in sustaining life in the deep hostile plains.
Humans are not the only organisms responsible for wide-scale extinctions
Cyanobacteria have caused one of the greatest extinction events that occured 2.4 billion years ago. There was a time when earth had orange skies laden with hydrocarbon particles, excessive amount of Iron(II) dissolved in the oceans and earth teemed with anaerobic life. When Cyanobacteria first appeared and began producing oxygen, the Fe(II) started being deposited as Fe(III) in the sea beds and present day reserves. When all of the Fe(II) was used up, oxygen started building up in the atmosphere, as a toxin to the anaerobic life that existed then. Within 200 million years, the ‘Great Oxygen Event’ had wiped off most of life then, transformed the orange skies into clear blue skies and laid foundations for a new life, the way it exists today.
Phytoplanktons are growing below Arctic sea-ice sheets in massive blooms
That is as dramatic as finding a rain-forest in the middle of a desert. Phytoplanktons need sunlight to survive. Previously the Arctic sea ice used to block sunlight from reaching the waters below it. But the young ice that is replacing the old sheets is thin and covered with melt pools that act like transient skylights and magnifying glasses. Taking advantage, phytoplanktons are growing in amounts 4 times greater than the neighboring ice free waters. The bloom extended laterally for more than 62 miles underneath the ice sheet and extended downwards for 70 meters, dense like a pea soup.
Auto recycle of Earth
The rocks you standing on get recycled regularly. Volcanoes emit them out as magma. They dry, get hardened, and after a very long time either get sucked down again by plate tectonics or get pushed towards Earth’s core by a fresh layer of rocks above.
A Place with Missing Gravity
Gravity is not distributed equally on the Earth. Yes, you read that right. Places like Hudson Bay in Canada actually have less gravity than other regions of the globe. This is due to the fact that there is less land mass in that part of the planet thanks both to retreating glaciers on the surface and swirling magma deep in the core.
Lakes Explode Gas
Volcanos aren’t the only things that explode gas and magma. Lakes do that too. In Africa, on the borders of Cameroon, Rwanda, and the Democractic Republic of the Congo there are several lakes that rest above volcanic earth which results in large pockets of dangerous gas being trapped beneath them.
Ocean Beds Hold 20 Million Tonnes of Gold
Ocean beds holds nearly 20 million tons of gold. This means that the Earth holds more than its share of greed though most of the gold is diluted. Each liter of seawater contains about 13 billionths of a gram. There is enough undissolved gold on the sea floor though to put 9 pounds in every pocket on Earth.
Highest Point on Earth Is Not Mount Everest
Mount Everest is known as the highest mountain peak in the world with the height approximately for 8.848 meters above the sea level. However, Mount Everest is not the highest mountain peak in the world. The throne of the highest mountain peak in the world is given to the Mauna Kea. This mountain is located on Hawaiian Archipelago present in United States of America. Although the height of Mauna Kea is about 4.205 meter and it’s nothing to be compared with the height of Mount Everest, but the foot of Mauna Kea starts from the bottom of the sea. This means that Mauna Kea arises from beneath the water. The height of Mauna Kea is more than 10,000 meters.
Earth Had a Twin Planet Called Theia
Scientists now believe that we were once not alone in our orbit around the Sun – we had a “twin” planet we call Theia, which was the size of Mars and was 60 degrees either in front or behind our Big Blue Ball. One afternoon about 4.533 billion years ago, Theia crashed into the Earth; most of the planet was absorbed, but a large chunk blew off and combined with materials from our planet to create the Moon. Why do we think this? It’s because our Moon is unusually large for a planet of our size and has metallic isotopes similar to those on Earth.
Earth Day Special Video: We Only Have One home