Throughout history, humanity hasn’t been able to learn everything about our planet. But the facts that we keep learning are so amazing that they motivate us to keep studying the world we live in. Do you know the speed of spring? And what the state of the ozone layer is? Where is the place where you don’t need to buy soap in the store because you can dig some up in the yard?
Bright Side has found some amazing facts about our planet that you may not be aware of.
1. The ozone hole is getting smaller.
Studies have shown that in 2015, compared to 2000, the ozone hole over the Antarctic has shrunk by 4 million sq km and it continues to grow. The Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that phased out the production of many of the human-made compounds responsible for stratospheric ozone destruction, is widely considered to be the most important and successful international environmental agreement. Scientists claimed the ozone layer restored before but now they have the proof.
2. −129°F is the lowest temperature observed on Earth.
-129°F is the lowest temperature to have ever been registered on Earth. It was a cold summer day on July 23, 1983 at Vostok Station in Antarctica.
3. Spring travels at about 2 mph.
Spring travels at about 2 mph. Scientists found this by tracking the speed of flowering of different plants in different territories.
4. Tian Shan is the only place in the mountains where your blood pressure wouldn’t rise.
The rise in blood pressure is a usual phenomenon when people climb mountains. But there is one place on Earth where this doesn’t happen and it is Tian Shan — a paradise for people with high blood pressure. The locals have much lower blood pressure than people living in plateaus.
5. The soil on Kimolos island consists of liquid soap.
Kimolos, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea is only 20.6 sq miles and has a really interesting feature. When it rains, the island is covered with soap foam. The thing is, the soil in Kimolos consists of soap clay — natural soap that locals use as regular soap.
6. Plate tectonics saves Earth from overheating.
Earth is the only known planet with plate tectonics. 7 giant plates (continents) move in different directions at about 3.9 in per year. Thanks to the tectonic system, there is a circulation of carbon that prevents the planet from overheating. Carbon is one of the most important components that make life on Earth possible.
7. The Amazon river has an underground twin.
Hamza is an unofficial river that flows parallel to the Amazon river about 13,000 ft underground. It is 3,700 miles long and 248 miles wide. Hamza flows at a very low speed, at just about several feet a year which is slower than the glaciers. The Hamza empties in the Atlantic Ocean, deep under the surface.
8. The Pangaea supercontinent is coming back.
About 300 million years ago, almost the entire land of Earth was one single supercontinent Pangaea. During the Jurassic Period, Pangaea split into 2 continents and each of them split later on. Gondwana (what is now Africa, South America, Antarctica, India, and Australia) first split from Laurasia (Eurasia and North America.) Then, about 150 million years ago, Gondwana broke up. India peeled off from Antarctica, and Africa and South America rifted, according to an article in the Journal of Geophysical Research (1970.) Around 60 million years ago, North America split off from Eurasia. According to scientists, in 250 million years, the continents will merge into a new supercontinent — the New Pangaea.
9. Antarctica has lost 3 trillion tons of ice in 25 years.
Recent studies showed that Antarctica has lost 3 trillion ton of ice in 25 years. Only in 2017, the Larsen S iceberg broke from Antarctica. It weighs more than 1 trillion ton and it’s half the size of Jamaica.
10. A great shadow covering Earth can be seen again in 2034.
Himawari 8, a Japanese weather satellite, shot a unique phenomenon in 2016: at first, it was daytime on the planet, and then, the entire planet was covered by a giant shadow. The video was shot on March 9 during the Solar eclipse from about 21,000 miles from Earth. The next time you can see this unusual phenomenon is in the spring of 2034.
Bonus: the world without water
Graphic designer Joel Krebs shows us a world transformed by drought with his photoshopped images of famous locations across the globe. This picture of Christ the Redeemer in Brazil looks really scary!
We at Bright Side were really happy to find out about the ozone layer. Which fact amazed you the most? Tell us in the comments section below!