If you think that Mount Everest is the highest mountain on Earth and our planet is basically packed with freshwater – you’re about to get the biggest shock of your life. Scientific discoveries are made every day, but not all of them get the necessary amount of exposure. We, humans, still live in the dark when it comes to facts about planet Earth because it’s almost impossible to get up to speed with the ever-changing facts that seem to be solid one moment and then change completely the other. For those of you who’d like to get their facts straight, we’ve gathered 10 mind-bending discoveries you’ve probably never heard before.
Did you know that the atmosphere of Earth has borders? It appears that at the altitude of 100 km above the sea level, there lies an internationally accepted line that’s called The Kármán line. Although Earth’s atmosphere stretches much further out into space, this line has been recognized by The World Air Sports Federation as the border separating our planet’s atmosphere and outer space.
The tallest mountain in the world
Everest has been generally considered the tallest mountain on Earth, but it is not quite true. It appears that Mauna Kea, a huge dormant volcano on Hawaii, is much taller if we take into consideration the part of the mountain that lies beneath sea level. If we measure Mount Kea from the base to the peak, we’ll get a height of 10,203 meters, while Mount Everest is ‘only’ 8, 848 meters high.
We’ve grown used to believing that Earth is basically made of water. But is that water drinkable? It appears that oceans and seas comprise 97% of Earth’s water resources, which is salty water we cannot drink. This leaves us with only 3% of freshwater which can be mostly found in glaciers (70%) and Lake Baikal (20%).
The driest place on Earth
It’s a common belief that deserts are the driest places on Earth, one Atacama Desert in particular. Located in Chile, this desert hasn’t seen a drop of rain for thousands of years. Nevertheless, there’s a place that hasn’t seen rain for eons! The desolate lands of McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica have been dry for 2 million years and will probably stay that way for twice as long. The winds there are especially ferocious and can reach speeds of 320 km/h.