Monday, April 22, is Earth Day, a time when we pause to reflect on our truly incredible planet. Learn some amazing facts about our home planet.
Did you know that Earth is the only planet in the Solar System not to be named after a mythical god? Instead the word "earth" can be used to mean a number of different things. It can simply mean "dirt." This may have been one of the earliest meanings. What do we stand on? If you are outside, you are often standing on dirt. Perhaps, people came to think of the whole area they were standing on as "dirt" or "earth." By the time people were speaking Old English, about one thousand years ago, "earth" could have already meant the world on which people lived. It took longer for "earth" to come to mean "Planet Earth." This happened about 1400 or so.
Despite our Earth being called "earth," meaning dirt, only about 30% of the surface is actually solid ground. The rest of the planet's surface is made up of water. From a distance, Earth would be the brightest of the planets. This is because sunlight is reflected off the planet's water.
What is even more amazing than this percentage, is that a single drop of liquid water has yet to be found on any other planet in the Solar System. In this regard, Earth is truly unique. Of course, water is necessary to sustain life.
Speaking of water, did you know our oceans hold nearly 20 million tons of gold? There is enough undissolved gold on the sea floor to give nine pounds to each person on Earth!
Scientists also believe Earth may have had two moons at one time. Now Earth has one moon, and its name is Luna.
Instead of looking skyward, let’s take a look below the Earth’s surface. This month, our training video models what lies below our feet. Explore Earth’s layers, or horizons, in an easy, hands-on activity children are sure to enjoy. After building the model, eat this delicious snack.
Yes, our awesome Earth is truly amazing! Read the Fuddlebrook story, The Plant Warrior, to learn more. Remember, we only have one Earth so we all must strive to reuse, reduce, and recycle.