We all know that Earth only has one moon, but sometimes, an asteroid gets pulled into Earth’s orbit and can stick around for as long as nine months before leaving again. It’s really just coming over to say hello. (This asteroid is Vesta, which has not done that.)
Flickr / Skip Moore
The Earth is 70% water, with only 3% of that water being of the fresh variety. (Human bodies are about 65% water, with infants being more watery than adults…in case you were wondering.) Humans have only explored about 5% of Earth’s oceans, though. And here’s a fun fact: If you were to take all the water on Earth, freeze it, and smoosh it into a snowball, it’d be the size of Saturn’s moon, Tethys
15. The longest mountain range is (mostly) underwater.
The Mid-Atlantic Ridge runs right down the middle of the Atlantic ocean, and it’s 20 times longer than the Andes Mountains. It’s actually visible in Iceland, as seen here, where it’s known as the Reykjanes Range. It then runs right into the ocean, wandering all the way down past much of South America.
16. The deepest valley is also under the ocean.
The Mariana Trench is about seven miles deep, and that’s beneath the ocean floor. For all we haven’t explored in the ocean, humans have actually been to the bottom — only three people, but still. Pictured above is the first manned vessel to reach the bottom of the Trench, which happened back in 1960. The pressure is immense, but there are still a few living organisms hanging out down there.
17. Despite huge mountains and deep trenches, the Earth is smooth.
The combined measurements of all the Earth’s mountains and canyons make up for only 1/5000th of the Earth’s total circumference, so if you were to touch it, it would be smoother than the surface of a bowling ball.
18. The most active volcano on Earth is in southern Italy.
Flickr / Yonatan H
The Stromboli Volcano (yes, that’s its name) has been erupting continuously for the past 2,000 years. It’s on a small island off Sicily’s northern coast in the Tyrrhenian Sea, so it doesn’t usually bother anyone too much. As another fun fact, this volcano inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s Mount Doom.
19. The ocean houses the most life on the planet.
Flickr / Wesley & Brandon Rosenblum
And actually, coral reefs boast the planet’s highest density of life, even more than rain forests. They’re teeming with all kinds of creatures, and among them is the coral itself. Coral is the world’s largest living structure, and some reefs can even be seen from space.
20. The largest living organism in the world is a fungus.
Coral is the largest living structure, but it’s actually made up of many individual organisms. The largest single living thing, though, is the honey fungus, or pidpenky. The largest single organism covers 3.4 square miles and is thousands of years old. It’s edible, but it’s also considered a pest, causing serious problems to nearby plants and trees.
There’s one other fact that you should consider, too: the Earth is your home, and it’s the only one you have. As small as humans are, we really do have an impact on our planet and everything else with which we share it, so be nice to the Earth. It’s been very nice to you.