10 facts about our planet that you probably did not know about

1. Earth's poles are changing

We all know that the North Pole is located above Alaska, and the South Pole is within the polar plateau of Antarctica. But the geographic and magnetic poles of the planet are not the same thing.

Over the past 20 million years, the Earth’s magnetic poles have changed every few hundred thousand years, which means that if you had a compass in your hand 800 thousand years ago, it would have determined the north in Antarctica.

Scientists do not fully understand what causes this "polar acrobatics", but the process is gradual and takes place over millennia. Now the Earth’s north magnetic pole is moving towards the geographic north at a speed of 64 km / year.

2. The moon is a truly great satellite

The moon is the fifth largest natural satellite of the planet of the solar system, but the ratio of its radius to the radius of the Earth makes our satellite truly colossal. The only heavenly pair that catches up with the Moon-Earth team is Pluto and its moon Charon. However, they circle around each other, therefore they are considered by scientists as a double planetary system.

We are fortunate that the moon is so big and close. Otherwise, we would never be able to see a total solar eclipse.

3. 99% of gold is in the core of the Earth

Pure gold crystals (99.99%) grown by chemical transport in a chlorine atmosphere. Gold leaf on paper backing. Pure gold is a soft yellow metal. ... Since immediately after its occurrence the Earth was in a molten state, almost all the gold currently on Earth is in the core. Most of the gold that is present today in the earth's crust and mantle was delivered to Earth by asteroids during the late heavy bombardment.

4. Giant mushrooms live in the land

The largest living organisms on Earth are not blue whales, elephants or coral reefs. These are mushrooms. In 1992, one of these giants (honeycup) was discovered in Michigan (USA). His mycelium spanned 0.37 km².

Scientists studying the mysterious death of trees found that the culprit was an even more “monstrous” mushroom (dark mushroom), the mycelium of which occupied an area of at least 8 km².

5. Some places on Earth are frankly alien

On the border of Ethiopia and Eritrea is the Danakil Depression. It is the hottest, driest and one of the lowest places on the planet. During the year, the temperature here never drops below 34 ° C, and in summer it can reach 63 ° C. Boiling springs, poisonous gases and lava lakes make Danakil an openly inhospitable place, but even here life exists. In hydrothermal vents, ecosystems inhabit that astrobiologists now use as an analogue in search of life outside the Earth.

6. One island boasts an “underwater waterfall”

If you look at images of Google Earth or photos of travelers, it seems that the southwestern coast of the island of Mauritius is located on the edge of an underwater waterfall. In fact, the impending abyss is just an illusion. Ocean currents carrying silt and sand create an amazing pattern on top of the relatively harmless seabed.

7. Huge treasures are hidden under our feet

At a depth of 300 m under the Mexican town of Nike, there is a Crystal Cave, in which giant (up to 11 m long and 4 m wide) selenite crystals grow. The cave was discovered only in 2000, when the miners paved a new tunnel for the Industrialas Peñoles company.

 The temperature in the cave reaches 58 ° C, it is almost completely flooded, therefore it is extremely difficult to investigate.

 Another hidden treasure is the largest Shondong cave in the world (Vietnam). She remained hidden until 1991. Grass and tropical trees grow in it, and there is enough space to plant a Boeing 747.

8. We have live “clouds”

Sometimes, at dusk above the ground, people notice dark clouds that are rapidly changing shape. They may seem alive - and indeed it is. A cloud formed by hundreds or thousands of starlings is called murmuration. Scientists suspect that birds gather in these huge flocks when they seek shelter from predators. But how exactly they achieve such exquisite synchronization on the fly is still a mystery.

9. In the seas and oceans hidden ancient meadows

Flowering plants really live in the waters of the seas and oceans. The most common among them are herbs of the genus Posidonia. They grow in large colonies, forming underwater meadows of incredible beauty.


Posidonia is the longest-living organism of our planet. DNA analysis of grass from different parts of the meadow growing off the coast of Spain showed that its age can reach 20 thousand years.

10. A “boiling" river flows on Earth

In the depths of the Amazon rainforest in Peru, a river flows, the water temperature of which reaches 98 ° C. National Geographic researcher Andres Ruzo examined the river and repeatedly saw how animals that accidentally got into it received severe burns and died.

The water in the river was not heated due to volcanic activity or drilling oil wells, because the source of geothermal energy is still a mystery to scientists.

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