Monday, December 21, 2009

WORLD-INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Atacama desert, along the Pacific Ocean in Chile, is the driest place on Earth. Prior to a freak storm in 1971, no rain whatsoever had fallen on the desert in 400 years.
  • The Dasht-e Lut Desert in central Iran, which is about 62,000 square miles in size, has never been inhabited by humans, and no traces of animal or plant life have been found in it.
  • The weight of ice on Antarctica has depressed the continent's land so far that most of it lies below sea level. The Bentley Trench, the lowest point, is 2,538 metres below sea level. However, Antarctica is also known as the world's highest continent. The continent's ice surface averages over 2,000 metres above sea level.
  • The Cape of Good Hope is not the southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas is. It is about 160 kilometres east of Hope and extends 65 kilometres farther south
  • The only populated continental land south of 40° South Latitude is cold Patagonia, the southern tip of South America. On the other hand, most of Europe, Asia, and two-thirds of North America are north of 40° North Latitude
  • In 1852, the first official calculation of the height of Mount Everest was performed. All six measurements that were made were different. Averaging the six results (between 28,990 feet and 29,026 feet), the result was 29,000 feet exactly. Unwilling to publish a figure that just looked like an estimate, the people who made the calculation arbitrarily added 2 feet to the value, giving a value of 29,002 fee
  • Three of the world's ten longest rivers have their source in China, and three more have their source in Mongolia
  • Because of Iceland's geographical isolation from mainland Europe, no human beings ever set foot on Iceland until mediaeval times. The first humans to arrive on Iceland were Irish explorers, who arrived no later than 795 A.D. They established a colony, but it didn't last. By the time the Vikings arrived eighty years later and established a permanent settlement, only a few hermits remained
  • The Dead Sea is the lowest point on the Earth's surface bounded by land, at about 1,300 feet below sea level. The water in the Dead Sea has no outflow. As water evaporates, minerals are left behind, so that the Dead Sea now has 25% salt content.
  • The world's largest island is Greenland (2,131,600 km²). It is almost three times as large as the world's second-largest island, New Guinea (790,000 km²)
  • The Nile is the only river in the world that has its source near the equator and from there flows into a temperate zone
  • The Grand Canyon was not seen by a white man until May 29, 1869, when it was entered by the geologist John Wesley Powell
  • Istanbul is the only city that resides on two continents, namely Europe and Asia.
  • Antarctica's ice sheet holds 90% of the world's fresh water. This ice sheet is up to 2,000 metres deep in places and covers almost the entire continent.
  • The Eastern side of the Panama Canal connects to the Atlantic Ocean and the Western side of the canal to the Pacific, not the other way around.
  • The coldest place in the Earth's lower atmosphere is usually not over the North or South Poles, as might be expected, but over the Equator. The tropopause, the boundary between the two lowest layers of the atmosphere, varies in height from an average of only 9 kilometres above the two poles to 18 kilometres over the Equator. Air temperature steadily decreases up to the top of the tropopause. So, temperatures often fall as low as -80°C high over the equator, whereas over the poles they rarely fall below -55°C
  • The Sahara Desert, while it is the largest desert in the world, is not the largest sand desert in the world. Most of the Sahara consists of rock. The largest sand desert in the world is the Great Arabian Desert, or Rub-al-Khali, in the Arabian Peninsula. 
  • The Dasht-e Lut Desert in central Iran, which is about 62,000 square miles in size, has never been inhabited by humans, and no traces of animal or plant life have been found in it
  • Niagara Falls is slowly eroding. As millions of gallons of water rush over the falls every minute, the underlying rock is being worn away, causing the falls to recede at the rate of one to two feet per year. Since their formation some 12,000 years ago, the falls already have withdrawn seven miles upstream. At the present rate, they would meet up with Lake Erie (about twenty miles from their present site) within the next 35,000 years.
  • The world's largest freshwater lake without any islands is Bernard Lake, in Ontario, Canada, about 60 kilometres south of North Bay. It is an oval-shaped lake about 8 kilometres long by 2 kilometres wide.
  • The world's largest billboard is 300 metres long and 45 metres high. It is in southeast China, overlooking the Yangtze River at Chongqing. However, this area is so continually foggy that no-one has advertised on it since 1998, so China has decided to tear it down.
  • The Wright Brothers did not fly the first manned airplane. On August 14th, 1901, a man named Gustav Albin Whitehead (born Weisskopf), flew a plane around half a mile (800 metres). However, without documentation such as photographs to support his claim, there was significant scepticism about his claim and it was not taken seriously.
  • The weight of ice on Antarctica has depressed the continent's land so far that most of it lies below sea level. The Bentley Trench, the lowest point, is 2,538 metres below sea level. However, Antarctica is also known as the world's highest continent. The continent's ice surface averages over 2,000 metres above sea level.
  • The lowest mountain in the world is Mount Wycheproof in Victoria, Australia, with a summit just 140 feet above the surrounding plains

No comments:

Post a Comment