It’s Mothers’ Day and today we’re celebrating the mother that’s been around for 4.5 billion years - Mother Earth. She’s been sustaining life and looking after everything on the planet for all that time, so today we wanted to celebrate by bringing you some of the weirdest, wackiest and most wonderful facts you might not know about earth.
There Is Life Below The Sea Floor
Yep, this one creeped us out a little too. Forget the fact that the ocean is less explored than Mars and contains 15% of all living things on the planet, there’s also life below the sea! Researchers discovered microbial life flourishing in rocky crevices deep beneath the sea floor. It may not look pretty, but these microbes actually give us a good idea of what life on other planets may look like. It’s not quite the aliens we imagined but any life out there is pretty cool.
Earth Days Are Getting Longer
Don’t worry though, it’s not enough to affect your work day! Ever so slowly, Earth Days are getting longer, or in other words, we’re spinning slower on our axis. Scientists discovered this in a mixture of amazing ways, by analysing tidal sediments, billion year old rocks and even by looking at the shells of Cretaceous mollusks! By combining all this, they found that earth days are increasing by 1.8 milliseconds every century. Now, we know that sounds small, but it means that 1.4 billion years ago, days were only 19 hours long. This is all caused by the gravitational pull of the moon, which expands and contracts our oceans, which is ever so slowly causing our spin to slow.
The Calm Before The Storm Is A Real Phenomenon
We’ve all heard the phrase, but it turns out there’s meteorological truth behind the adage. For a storm to form and thrive, they need warm, moist air that they suck in from the surrounding environment. Warm, dry air is more stable than the moist air, so while all that moist air gets sucked into the storm system, all it leaves behind is the drier air. This is what grants us that almost eerie calm before the storm.
Coral Reefs Are Animals, Not Plants
We really couldn’t believe this one when we first learnt it. Although coral may appear at first glance to be an ocean dwelling plant, it is in fact an animal. The branch or mound that we call ‘a coral’ is actually made up of thousands of tiny animals called polyps. A coral polyp is an invertebrate that can be as small as a pinhead or as large as a football in diameter. The polyp uses limestone from the seawater to build a hard cup-like skeleton around itself, protecting its soft body from predators.
The Amazon River Used To Run East To West
Okay, anyone who likes pub quizzes knows that the Amazon river runs West to East right? Well it didn’t always, 100 million years ago, it used to flow the other way. Scientists have struggled for many years to fully explain this incredible change. So far, the main theory is that when the South American Continental Plate rode up over the Nazca Plate, this caused the formation of the Andes Mountains, which in turn led to increased rainfall and more erosion in the Amazon Basin. This eventually pushed the river upwards and backwards, making it flow from West to East as it does today.
Earth Has Some Really Weird Animals
Okay, you probably know this one, but let’s show you some of the really weird ones. Have you heard of the Dumbo Octopus? How about the Venezuelan Poodle Moth? Seriously, check out these pictures, we think they look more like aliens!
Protecting Our Mother
So there you go, earth is quite frankly awesome and is constantly surprising us with weird and wonderful facts. We’re doing our bit by creating a refillable deodorant that doesn’t add to the single-use plastic problem. It's simple swaps like this that can help to make a real difference to the problems we face.