Planet Overview - Earth
Earth is the only planet we know of in our solar system that humans can live on. No other planet has oceans, other life forms, and enough oxygen to comfortably breathe. Because we have so much water, Earth is called the Blue Planet. From space the oceans combined with the atmosphere makes the planet look blue.
Earth - What It's All About
About 71 per cent of the Earth is covered with water. Earth is the only planet where water can exist in liquid form on the surface. Even though we have water coming out of our ears, only one percent of it is drinkable. Most of it is frozen or salty. Earth is the fifth largest planet and the third planet from the Sun with only Mercury and Venus being closer. It's about 24,920 miles around Earth at the equator. That means it would take 33,000,000 people holding hands to reach all the way around. The land on Earth is made of several plates and at one time all of these plates were joined together, making it possible to walk from one side of the Earth to the other. Plates are individual pieces that are always moving so the land keeps drifting apart slowly. Today there are seven distinct land masses known as continents.
Earth - Fun Facts
- A thousand tons of meteor dust falls to Earth every day.
- Only 11 percent of the Earth's surface is used to grow food.
- Wind carries over 100 million tons of sand grains around the Earth every year. That means if you live in the United States, you could have sand from the Gobie desert in China reach you.
- Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth. The entire continent is made of ice.