10 facts about Earth you maybe didn't know

Credit: Image credit: Flickr/NASA Goddard Photo and Video

Wow friends at the next meetup with your deep knowledge of our planet

While searching around for a good blog post idea this morning, I stumbled upon a feature from LiveScience titled "50 Interesting Facts About The Earth." It's a good, solid idea. An evergreen, if you will. But LiveScience decided to format the feature as a slide show. Fifty slides. So if you began reading these "50 interesting facts about the Earth" when they were first published last March, you'd be finishing right about now. I won't do that to From the Lab readers, and not just because I don't know how to make a slide show. Below are 10 facts about Earth, some of which were mentioned on LiveScience, some of which I made up researched on my own. 1. At its equator, Earth rotates at a speed of 1,037.6 miles per hour. Yet no one at the equator has ever flown off! For this they can thank gravity. 2. As it orbits the Sun, Earth travels through space at a speed of 66,660 miles per hour. 3. Universe Today puts Earth's weight at 5.97 sextillion tons. But there's some debate about whether Earth is gaining or losing mass. 4. Earth is 4.55 billion years old (and 6,000 years old for the delusional). 5. Earth's distance from the Sun varies, but on average it is 92.96 million miles away. 6. Nearly 71% (70.8%, to be exact) of the Earth's surface is covered by water, of which 97% is salt water. (Ecology.com) 7. How many people have ever lived on Earth? No one knows for sure, of course, but the Population Reference Bureau took a stab at an answer and came up with 108 billion. Which means with a current world population of about 7 billion, about 6.5% of the people who have ever lived are alive today. 8. About 85% of the Earth's deserts are comprised not of sand, but rocks and gravel, according to Listverse. 9. There are 8.7 million species on Earth, according to estimates published in 2011. Of those, 6.5 million species are land-based, with 2.2 million living in water. 10. Earth has one permanent moon, but frequently hosts tiny, temporary moons, says the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii. Now read this:

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