by Bob Sparrow
If you’re not sure, you probably did! It was two Thursdays ago, April 22nd. With everything else going on in our world today, don’t beat yourself up if you missed it. But in an effort to ‘keep you informed’, as we here at From a Bird’s Eye View, are committed to doing, I’ll provide you with a brief history of celebrating the day we honor our planet (hang in there, it will get more interesting . . . maybe!). Inspired by students in the anti-war movement, former Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson and others helped to organize the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. It inspired about 20 million Americans to come out and demonstrate against the impacts of industrial development on our environment. OK, brief enough.
If you forgot to celebrate, worry not; you’ve probably already been doing your part by staying home this past year and thus lowering your total carbon emissions. Good for you!
While listening to the Darren Hardy’s ‘Darren Daily’ episode on Earth Day, I learned a few interesting facts about our ‘Mother Earth’ and thought I’d share them with you.
What’s in a name? How did we get the name ‘Earth’? While all the other planets are named after Greek or Roman gods, we get our name from both English and German words, ‘ertha’ and erde’ which means ‘ground’. Pretty sexy, huh?
Earth flat? We all know that the earth isn’t flat, right? Ok, there is the ‘Flat Earth Society’ that believes evidence to the contrary is fabricated by NASA and those ‘Round Earth Conspiracy’ theorists. But the earth is not round either, it’s oval, like a squished ball – fatter at the equator.
Who’s tallest? That aforementioned ‘squished ball’ visual, begs the question, what is the tallest mountain in the world? You’re thinking Everest, right? But, depending on how you measure, there could be two other answers. Everest is the tallest, 29,033 ft from sea level, but, if you’re looking for the mountain that is furthest from the earth’s center and thus closest to the moon and stars, it would be a mountain in Ecuador, Mt. Chimborazo – it’s right on the earth’s bulging equator. However, if you’re measuring from the ocean floor instead of sea level, it’s Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, which measures 33,496 feet from the ocean floor to its summit – told you it would get more interesting!
What?! We’re not the Center of the Universe! When asked who was the first to discover that the sun, not the earth was the center of our solar system, you’d probably respond with the name of that Polish astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus, who published his work in 1543. But you’d be wrong. Did you say, Aristarchus of Samos, the Greek astronomer and mathematician, for his discovery around 270 B.C.? Nope, but he was influenced by the first to proffer the idea that the earth was not the center of the universe, Philolaus, another Greek philosopher who lived around 400 B.C. and was the first credited with originating heliocentrism, the theory that the Earth was not the center of the Universe – much less the center of our solar system.
How old is earth? The earth is approximately 4.54 billion years old – don’t ask me who was counting or when earth’s birthday is, but just to put our existence on this planet in perspective, let’s assume that the 4.54 billion years was converted to a 24-hour day. Homo sapiens (that’s us) would have been on the earth for . . . wait for it . . . 4 seconds!
How fast are we going? The earth is hurling through space at a speed of 66,000 miles per hour as we travel around the sun. It is also spinning at a rate of 1,040 miles per hour. Dizzy yet? Thanks to a thing called gravity, we don’t fly off into space.
Land & Sea One-third of the earth is desert – the largest desert? Nope, it’s Antarctica, it gets only about 2 inches of precipitation per year. Seventy percent of the earth is made up of water, but only 3% of that is fresh water.
Got a light? Lightning strikes on earth about 100 times . . . per second! That’s about 8,600,000 per day
Free Fall: If a large hole was drilled through the center of the earth, it would take about 46 minutes to free fall from one end to the other. You’d need a pretty good ‘fire-suit’ as temperature in the middle of the earth is about the same temperature as the sun’s surface – 10,000 degrees.
Who Owns the Most Real Estate on Earth? Not Bezos, not Musk, not Zuckerberg, Not Buffett (Warren or Jimmy), not Gates, not some Saudi prince, but . . . Queen Elizabeth – she is the ‘legal’ owner of 1/6 of the earth’s land surface.
Happy belated Earth Day! Yeah, we’re too late for this year’s gala celebration of Earth Day, but you’ll be ready to wow them next year!