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Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Earth


Earth's name comes from the Anglo-Saxon word erda which means ground or soil.

The Earth is the only planet in the solar system not named after a Greek or Roman god.

In the days of Moses it was taught that the Earth was carried around on a great big strong man's back and when he sneezed this created an earthquake. Later as time went on it was taught the Earth was carried around on the back of a turtle.

Though ancient people believed that the Earth was flat and you could fall off the edge of the globe, the Old Testament has several verses indicating it was round.  (Job 26:7 — "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing, " Isaiah 40:22 — "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.")

Parmenides of Elea, a Greek philosopher who lived in the 5th century BC, is thought to be the first person to realise that the Earth is a sphere.

Aristarchus of Samos (3rd century BC) was the first to argue that the Earth orbits the Sun rather than the other way around.

A Greek called Eratosthenes (276-194 BC) estimated the Earth’s circumference to an accuracy of about 2 per cent .

The fact that the Earth is round was evident to most people of Columbus' time, especially other sailors and navigators.

The first photograph clearly showing the curve of the earth’s surface was taken from a balloon 72,395 ft above South Dakota on November 11, 1935.

The first photograph of the Earth from outer space was taken abroad The  V-2 No. 13 rocket on October 24, 1946. The famous photograph was taken with an attached DeVry 35 mm black-and-white camera.

The first photo of Earth from space, taken aboard the V-2 No. 13.

The Apollo 17 astronauts took the photograph of the Earth known as The Blue Marble on December 7, 1972. It is one of the most widely distributed photographic images in existence.

The Blue Marble—Earth as seen by Apollo 17 in 1972

The Pale Blue Dot photograph of planet Earth was taken on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 3. 7 billion miles (6 billion kilometers). In the photograph, Earth's apparent size is less than a pixel; the planet appears as a tiny dot against the vastness of space, among bands of sunlight scattered by the camera's optics.

Seen from about 6 billion kilometers, Earth appears as a tiny dot (the blueish-white speck approximately halfway down the brown band to the right) within the darkness of deep space


Juan Sebastian del Cano: (?-1526) was the first man to circumnavigate the Earth. In 1519 he sailed with Magellan in command of the Concepción. After Magellan's death in the Philippines, he safely navigated the Victoria home to Spain, arriving in 1522.

The first solo circumnavigation of the Earth was completed by Joshua Slocum from Briar Island, Nova Scotia in 1898.

Wiley Post became the first person to fly solo around the world in 1933 traveling 15,596 miles (25,099 km) in 7 days, 18 hours and 45 minutes.

Australian adventurer Ben Carlin became the first (and only) person to circumnavigate the world by amphibious vehicle when he arrived in Montreal, Canada on May 13, 1958. Carlin had traveled over 17,000 kilometers (11,000 miles) by sea and 62,000 kilometers (39,000 miles) by land during a ten-year journey.

The United States Navy nuclear submarine USS Triton completed the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe on April 25, 1960. The 30,000 mile journey took 60 days.

Captain Beach traces the route of Triton's submerged circumnavigation

When British yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston won the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race on April 22, 1969, he completed the first solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world.

American world trekker Steven Newman became on April 1, 1987 the first man to walk around the world. It was a four year, 15,000-mile trek.

Steven Newman By Sherab - Own work, Wikipedia Commons

On July 12, 1994 English adventurer Jason Lewis set off to complete the world's first human-powered circumnavigation of the Earth. He successfully ended his 4,833-day expedition on October 6, 2007, having traveled 46,505 miles (74,842 kilometers).

Deepsea Challenger, a submersible vehicle, completed the first solo voyage to reach the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on Earth in 2012.


The Earth resonates at B flat.

The length of a day on Earth is increasing by about 17 milliseconds per century.

Deserts represent about one-fifth of the Earth's total surface.

70.8 per cent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water.

The earth's inner core is moving faster than the Earth's surface.

The Earth is almost a perfect sphere: its diameter at the Equator is about 27 miles more than the pole-to-pole diameter.

Because of the Earth's bulge, if you weigh 150lb at the Equator you’ll weigh 151lb at the North Pole.

The polar diameter of the Earth is almost exactly half a billion inches.

If there was no space between any of its atoms, the Earth would be the size of a baseball.

If a billiard ball and the earth were the same size, earth would be smoother than the ball.

The Earth weighs 5,980,000,000,000,000,000,000 tonnes (about 6 million, billion, billion kilograms).

The Earth gets 40,000 tons heavier every year due to falling meteoroids — space dust, gravel and rocks — according to NASA

The main elements in the composition of the Earth are iron, oxygen and silicon (in that order), which together comprise 77 per cent of its mass.

The usual date of Earth’s aphelion, when its orbit takes it furthest from the Sun, is July 4.

The Earth travels through space at 660,000 mph.

The Earth has traveled more than 5,000 miles in the past five minutes.

If the Earth stopped for one second and you weren't belt-buckled to the Earth, you would fall over and roll 800 mph due east.

If the earth didn't have the moon, our days would only be 6 -8 hours long and there’d be between 1,100-1,400 days in a year.

The Earth spins at 1,000 mph.

90% of the world's people live in the Northern Hemisphere.

If you were to spread a map of the world flat the town of Ludbreg in Croatia would be in the centre.

The average temperature on Earth is between 14-16 degrees Celsius.

There are estimated to be at least 8.7 million species of life on Earth, of which 86 per cent on land, and 91 per cent in the oceans, have not yet been fully described or classified.

Source Daily Express

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