Five Weird Facts About Earth
By Celeste Beley
1. The Eiffel Tower is taller in the summer.
Because of thermal expansion, the Eiffel Tower in Paris is 5.9 inches taller during the summer months. Thermal expansion occurs when a substance or object is heated and its particles move about more, therefore expanding their size. While the phenomenon mostly occurs in gases, it also can happen in liquids and solid objects. It’s because of this that tall structures, such as the Eiffel Tower, are built with expansion joints to avoid any damage when thermal expansion does occur.
2. The Amazon Rainforest produces (and consumes) nearly 20 percent of the Earth’s oxygen.
More than seven billion humans survive on planet Earth, and that takes a lot of oxygen. The Amazon Rainforest in South America produces up to 20 percent of the total oxygen needs for our planet, but because of the decomposition of organic plant and animal matter, the rainforest actually consumes about as much oxygen as it produces. Because of this, scientists refer to the rainforest’s cycle of production and consumption as “oxygen turnover.”
3. Hawaii moves nearly 3 feet closer to Alaska each year.
Hawaii sits on The Pacific Plate, a tectonic plate moving closer to the mainland each year. Because tectonic plates are always moving due to currents created by rising and sinking rocks, the island state is slowly moving with it.
4. If you removed the empty space between atoms, the entire human race would fit inside a sugar cube.
No, really. There are sevenbillion people in the human race,and without the space betweenatoms in our bodies, we’d all be significantly smaller. Humanatoms are made of a tiny nucleussurrounded by electrons – about 99.99 percent of which is justempty space.
5. In 2.3 billion years, Earth will be too hot for life to exist and the sun will engulf the planet.
Scientists predict that the sun will get hotter and brighter as time progresses, which eventually will cause our oceans to evaporate completely. The result will be a desert landscape similar to that of Mars. A few billion years after the oceans evaporate, the sun will engulf Earth and life on the planet will be impossible.