EarthFacts.com is where you can find everything you need to know about Earth and the living things on it. Browse through our pages to learn about how the Earth formed and how life developed.

Find out about the oceans and the continents. Learn why earthquakes and volcanoes occur. Discover what happens deep beneath the Earth's surface, in the oceans and in the air above us.

Learn about weather and climate. Find out more about the Earth's rainforests. You can even try some science experiments.

Image of the Earth10 Quick Earth Facts

1. There are 8 planets in our Solar System (group of planets surrounding a sun). Earth is the 3rd planet from the Sun.

2. So far life has only been discovered by us on Earth and nowhere else in the universe.

3. Earth has the highest density of all the planets in our Solar System

4. Earth is the only planet in our Solar System with liquid water on its surface, an essential ingredient for most life as we know it to exist.

5. Earth is the 5th largest planet in our Solar System; however the only planets larger than Earth are Gas Giants - planets whose mass is mainly made up from gasses with no solid surface to land on.

6. The Earth is currently believed to be 4.6 billion years old, although it has been transformed many times during this period before it became the Earth as we know it today.

7. It is thought that life has existed on Earth for 3.5 billion years, starting out as extremely primitive single celled organisms before evolving into more complex bacteria and eventually into plants and animals much, much later.

8. Most life as we know it - sea creatures, reptiles and mammals - stem from a period of massive growth and evolution only 533 to 525 million years ago called the Cambrian period.

9. Dinosaurs were the dominant creatures on Earth for 150 million years before they mysteriously disappeared relatively quickly, leaving only smaller reptiles and mammals behind. Current theory suggests a cataclysmic event, most likely a giant meteor, was the cause of their extinction.

10. Humans have only been on Earth for about 3 million years in earlier forms, and less than 200 thousand years as Homo sapiens (our current species). However, modern forms of Homo sapiens, behaving as we do today, are thought to have only been around for 50 thousand years. A metaphorical blink of an eye compared to life on Earth in its entirety.

Even More Facts

Facts About the Oceans

Facts About the Sun

Facts About Dinosaurs


Here are some of the works and organizations we reference to provide the information here on EarthFacts.com:

Earth Science (13th edition), by Edward J. Tarbuck, Frederick K. Lutgens and Dennis Tasa

Jungles, edited by Edward S. Ayensu, Smithsonian Institution


National Geographic

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)

You Can Help

The Earth is our only home. Help the World Wildlife Fund keep it beautiful and safe.

Earth Day is an international holiday that promotes environmental awareness. It is celebrated on April 22 every year.

People observe Earth Day by encouraging actions to help preserve the environment - such as recycling, planting trees and walking or riding bicycles instead of driving cars.

They look for ways to combat the dangerous effects of processes like climate change and habitat destruction.

During Earth Day, people think about the plight of endangered species, such as the snow leopard.Some people celebrate Earth Week, and spend an entire week taking part in pro-environment activities.

In some places, Earth Day is held a month earlier, at the Spring Equinox.


The first Earth Day took place in the United States on April 22, 1970.

Earth Day was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson.

During the 1960s, Senator Nelson developed serious concerns about the environment and traveled around the United States speaking about his concerns.

Toward the end of the decade, he became influenced by the actions of Vietnam War protesters.

He began to believe that there should be a national grassroots movement protesting the damage that was being done to the environment, similar to the movement protesting the activities taking place in Vietnam.

In late 1969, at a conference in Seattle, Nelson announced that a large pro-environment demonstration would take place the following year. Nelson's announcement quickly spread throughout the media.

Soon, with support from Congressman Peter McCloskey, a day of protests began to take shape. The day was organized by Denis Hayes.

On April 22, 1970, rallies and demonstrations protesting the destruction of the environment took place across the United States.  Approximately 20 million people took part in what became the first Earth Day.

Protestors brought attention to the problems caused by oil spills, pesticides, the expansion of freeways, toxic dumps, industrial pollution and other threats to the environment. They protested increasing levels of species extinction.

The size of the protests made legislators realize that concern for the environment was shared by people of many different economic, political and religious backgrounds. Environmental awareness was not just something for hippies.

Soon, important pieces of pro-environment legislation were enacted.

In December 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created.

The Clean Air At was passed at the end of the month.

This was followed by the Clean Water Act, which was passed in 1972, and the Endangered Species Act, which was passed in 1973.

In 1990, Hayes coordinated a campaign to make Earth Day a global phenomenon. People from 141 countries around the world were involved in Earth Day 1990.

With international awareness of issues confronting the environment increasing, international organizations began making the environment a priority

Two years later, in 1992, the first international Earth Summit, coordinated by the United Nations, took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Senator Nelson was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995. He was given the medal in recognition of all that he had accomplished by creating Earth Day.

In 2009, the UN General Assembly proclaimed April 22 to be International Mother Earth Day.

Earth Day 2014

We often hear about how humans are destroying the Earth and the living things on it, whether by hunting, destroying habitats or burning fossil fuels.

Woman feeding geese

In honor of Earth Day 2014, here are 5 ways people are making our world a better place.

1. Recycling

There’s a big push toward recycling around Earth Day, but nowadays, for many of us, recycling has become a habit. Many people wouldn’t dream of throwing a plastic bottle in the trash, Earth Day or any day of the year. In 2011, twice as many Americans recycled as did 20 years before.

2. Finding alternative sources of energy

Many of us are concerned with how burning fossil fuels damages the environment, contributes to climate change and promotes political instability that can lead to war. Many of us are already doing something about it, whether by installing solar panels or promoting the development of wind power.

3. Growing things

People often celebrate Earth day by planting trees. However, people are planting things all the time, whether they plant trees in a public park, grow vegetables in a garden or orchids in a flowerpot in a window. Plants not only improve air quality by filtering pollution  and reducing carbon dioxide levels, their presence helps us get rid of stress and makes us feel happy.

4. Taking care of other animals

Human beings have been caring for pets, starting with dogs, for more than 15,000 years. Sometimes, we give them as much attention, care and love as we do our own children. We rescue abandoned animals and animals with special needs. We spay and neuter pets to prevent overpopulation.

We also feed strays and wild birds, plant trees for other birds and other animals to live in, strive to keep rivers and lakes free from pollutants so fish and other creatures can thrive and create laws to protect endangered species—proving that we don't need to "own" animals in order care for them.

5. Doing medical research

Infectious diseases can sometimes be transmitted between humans and other animal species, so work towards eliminating these diseases benefits all animals. In addition, some medical conditions, like diabetes, can affect many different species, and research on how to cure or prevent these conditions can help all of them.

By developing the ability to culture tissues from stem cells, we've given scientists a way to do medical research without experimenting on animals.

We Homo sapiens may not be perfect, but some of the things we're doing aren't that bad.

Happy Earth Day!

(Photo Credit: Dinkum, Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication)

The first crater on Earth to have been recognized as an impact crater - a crater caused by the impact of a meteor - is Meteor Crater in Arizona.

It is also known as Barringer Crater.

The saucer-shaped crater, located in the desert near Arizona's Canyon Diablo is 1,265m (4,150ft) in diameter. Its maximum depth is 175m (575ft) deep.

According to current estimates, the meteor that struck the Arizona desert and caused the crater to form weighed 300,000 tons and had a diameter of 46m (150ft). It is believed to have been traveling at a velocity of around 43,000kph (27,000mph).

The collision probably occurred around 50,000 years ago.

Evidence of the Impact

Meteor Crater was originally thought to be a volcanic crater, since there were other volcanic craters, including the still-active Sunset Crater, in the region.

However, in the 1890s, mineralogists discovered iron fragments in the crater. This led geologists to suggest that the crater was caused by a meteor crash.

Daniel Barringer (1860-1929), a Philadelphia mining engineer who explored the site in 1903, was convinced the meteorite was buried beneath the crater. He purchased the land and, in 1906, began drilling.

Barringer and his team discovered enough iron and nickel-iron fragments to persuade the scientific world that the crater was probably formed by a meteor.

During the 1930s, around $400,000 was spent on drilling bores into the floor of the crater. Fragments of nickel-iron believed to have come from the meteorite were found at depths of 260m (700ft). Below this, the rock was undisturbed.

All attempts at finding the core intact below the crater have been abandoned. Scientists now believe the meteor exploded on impact, and that much of its material vaporized into the air.

The millions of nickel-iron grains discovered at the site are thought to have condensed from a hot metallic cloud that resulted from the blast. In addition, individual nickel-iron fragments as heavy as 640kg (1,400lbs) have been found scattered over an area of 260sq.km (100 sq.mi).

In 1960, scientists discovered coesite and stishovite at the site. These two rare forms of silica can only be created when the temperature and pressure is very high. These conditions would have been created when a meteor crashed into sandstone desert. This was proof that the crater was formed by a meteor.

If you've never heard of Better World Books, it's just like Amazon - they collect and sell new and used books online and deliver them to your door.

However, Better World Books uses the money earned from selling you their books for literacy initiatives worldwide.

What's more, Better World Books ships your books to you for free within the United States! They also ship very cheaply worldwide, every order is shipped carbon neutral with offsets from Carbonfund.org.

So why not give them a try, you'll be stopping used books going to a landfill site, therefore protecting the environment, and helping children in poorer countries learn to read and write.

Here at Earth Facts we've had much of our research material sent to us from Better World Books, so we know how good they are and how nice it feels to help underprivilaged people better themseves through reading and writing for a brighter future.

For more info see: www.betterworldbooks.com

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