- Powerful earthquakes can permanently shorten the length of Earth’s day, by moving the spin of the Earth’s axis. The 2011 Japan earthquake knocked 1.8 microseconds off our days. The 2004 Sumatra quake cost us about 6.8 microseconds.
- It is estimated that the Earth receives one trillion cubic feet of snow every year. All this snow is estimated to weigh quite a bit, coming in at just over 1 billion pounds.
- If water behaved like other liquids, which become more dense with cold, ice would sink. Every body of water subject to freezing would be settled with ice, rather than covered. It would crush the life within it and destroy most aquatic vegetative food sources.
- Antarctica is a desert. The inner regions get just two inches (50 millimeters) of precipitation a year (typically as snow).
- A single stroke of lightning can heat the air to around 54,000°F, according to educational website Windows to the Universe, causing the air to expand rapidly. That ballooning air creates a shock wave and ultimately a boom, better known as thunder. There are about 6,000 lightning flashes around the Earth every minute. 8.6 million times per day.
- The Earth’s Crust consists of different plates floating perpetually on the Earth’s mantle, moving at the same rate that a person’s fingernails grow.
- Life, as we know it, is only possible at 24 hours a day. A quicker planetary spin would yield too many hurricanes and tornadoes. (NASA says Saturn rotates 360° in just under 11 hours. Winds there blow about 1,110 mph.) A slower spin would make our temperature shifts too long and more extreme; day=too hot; night=frigid. At present, we are spinning at 1,000 mph.
Scientists estimate the oceans of the world contain approximately 20 million tons of gold — $771 trillion worth — in the water itself, in tiny particles of approximately 13 billionths of a gram per liter. Sadly, experts say extraction would cost about $2.17 million per ounce.