Earth is no doubt a mysterious place to stay, the deeper we go, the more interesting facts we unfold. Google’s Doodle surely reminded us that it’s Earth day today, but not many of us know the interesting and unknown facts about our Mother Earth.
1. Our beloved planet Earth doesn’t take 24 hours to rotate on its axis!
The fact that not many of us know is that Earth actually takes 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds. This is the amount of time it takes for the Earth to completely rotate around its axis; astronomers call this a sidereal day. Which means a day is 4 minutes shorter than we think it is.
2. Every planet in this universe is named after a God, except Earth!
Except for Earth, all other seven planets in our solar system are named after Roman gods or goddesses. Although only Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were named during ancient times, because they were visible to the naked eye, the Roman method of naming planets was retained after the discovery of Uranus and Neptune.
3. Our Earth has got a waistline!
If not an hour glass but she thus have generous waistline: At the equator, the circumference of the globe is 24,901 miles (40,075 kilometers). Bonus fact: At the equator, you would weigh less than if standing at one of the poles.
4. Like Earth, even Moon get tremors!
It is hard to believe that our ever brightening moon could also fall into the trap of earthquake or ‘moonquake’. But in fact, moonquakes, or "earthquakes" on the moon, keep things just a bit shook up. Quakes on the moon are less common and less intense than those that shake Earth.
5. It seems that earth has more than 365 days in a year!
It’s actually 365.2564 days. It’s this extra .2564 days that creates the need for leap years. That’s why we tack on an extra day in February every year divisible by 4 – 2004, 2008, etc – unless it’s divisible by 100 (1900, 2100, etc)… unless it’s divisible by 400 (1600, 2000, etc).
6. It is said that the Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing!
We might not notice but, the deceleration of Earth is happening almost imperceptibly, at approximately 17 milliseconds per hundred years, although the rate at which it occurs is not perfectly uniform. This has the effect of lengthening our days, but it happens so slowly that it could be as much as 140 million years before the length of a day will have increased to 25 hours.
7. Earth is not a perfect sphere!
As Earth spins, gravity points toward the center of our planet and a centrifugal force pushes outward making it look bulged. But since this gravity-opposing force acts perpendicular to the axis of Earth, and Earth's axis is tilted, centrifugal force at the equator is not exactly opposed to gravity. This imbalance adds up at the equator, where gravity pushes extra masses of water and earth into a bulge, or like a spare tire around our planet.